- To oxidize or discolor due to oxidation.
- Careful storage of silver will prevent it from tarnishing.
- To soil, sully, damage or compromise
- He is afraid that he will tarnish his reputation if he disagrees.
achromatize, asperse, aspersion, attaint, badge of infamy, bar sinister, baton, bedaub, befoul, begrime, benasty, bend sinister, besmear, besmirch, besmoke, besoil, bespatter, bestain, black eye, black mark, blacken, blanch, bleach, blemish, bloodstain, blot, blotch, blow upon, blur, brand, broad arrow, call names, calumniate, censure, champain, contaminate, corrupt, dab, damage, darken, daub, debase, decolor, decolorize, defame, defile, degrade, denigrate, dim, dirty, disapprove, discolor, disgrace, dishonor, disparage, disparagement, drain, drain of color, dull, embarrass, engage in personalities, etiolate, expose, expose to infamy, eyesore, fade, fleck, flick, flyspeck, foul, fume, gibbet, grime, hang in effigy, harm, heap dirt upon, hurt, impair, imputation, infect, injure, macula, maculation, macule, mar, mark, mark of Cain, mess, mess up, muckrake, muddy, nasty, onus, pale, patch, peroxide, pillory, pillorying, point champain, pollute, prejudice, reflection, reprimand, reproach, revile, ruin, scorch, sear, singe, slander, slubber, slur, smear, smirch, smoke, smooch, smouch, smudge, smut, smutch, soil, spatter, speck, speckle, splash, splatter, splotch, spoil, spot, stain, stigma, stigmatism, stigmatization, stigmatize, sully, taint, tar, throw mud at, tone down, vilify, vitiate, wash out, whiten
From Middle French terniss-, stem of ternir (“to make dull, deaden, tarnish”), from Old French ternir (“to make dim, make wan”), of Germanic origin, from Frankish *tarnjan (“to cover up, conceal, hide”), from Proto-Germanic *darnijanan (“to conceal”), from Proto-Indo-European *dher(ǝ)-, *dhrē- (“to hold, hold tight, support”). Cognate with Old High German *tarnjan, tarnen (“to hide, cover up, conceal”) (Modern German tarnen), Old English dyrnan, diernan (“to keep secret, conceal, hide, restrain, repress”). More at dern, darn.