tarnish

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English ternysshen, a borrowing from Old French terniss-, stem of ternir (to make dim, make wan), borrowed from Frankish *darnijan (to conceal).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈtɑɹnɪʃ/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

tarnish (usually uncountable, plural tarnishes)

  1. Oxidation or discoloration, especially of a decorative metal exposed to air.
    • 1918, Hannah Teresa Rowley, Mrs. Helen Louise (Wales) Farrell, Principles of Chemistry Applied to the Household
      Precipitated calcium carbonate, a very fine powdery form, is used as a basis for many tooth powders and pastes. As whiting it finds a wide use in cleaning metals of their tarnishes.

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

tarnish (third-person singular simple present tarnishes, present participle tarnishing, simple past and past participle tarnished)

  1. (intransitive) To oxidize or discolor due to oxidation.
    Careful storage of silver will prevent it from tarnishing.
  2. (transitive) To compromise, damage, soil, or sully.
    He is afraid that she will tarnish his reputation if he disagrees with her.
  3. (intransitive, figuratively) To lose its lustre or attraction; to become dull.

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