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Meaning of tarnish

tar•nish

Pronunciation: (tär'nish), [key]
— v.t.
  1. to dull the luster of (a metallic surface), esp. by oxidation; discolor.
  2. to diminish or destroy the purity of; stain; sully: The scandal tarnished his reputation.
—v.i.
  1. to grow dull or discolored; lose luster.
  2. to become sullied.
—n.
  1. a tarnished coating.
  2. tarnished condition; discoloration; alteration of the luster of a metal.
  3. a stain or blemish.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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