Definitions for tarnishˈtɑr nɪʃ

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word tarnish

Princeton's WordNet

  1. tarnish(verb)

    discoloration of metal surface caused by oxidation

  2. tarnish, stain, maculate, sully, defile(verb)

    make dirty or spotty, as by exposure to air; also used metaphorically

    "The silver was tarnished by the long exposure to the air"; "Her reputation was sullied after the affair with a married man"


  1. tarnish(Noun)

    Oxidation or discoloration, especially of a decorative metal exposed to air.

  2. tarnish(Verb)

    To oxidize or discolor due to oxidation.

  3. tarnish(Verb)

    To soil, sully, damage or compromise

  4. Origin: From ternir, stem of ternir, from ternir, of origin, from Old , from darnijanan, from dher(ǝ)-. Cognate with , tarnen (Modern German tarnen), dyrnan, diernan. More at dern, darn.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tarnish(adj)

    to soil, or change the appearance of, especially by an alternation induced by the air, or by dust, or the like; to diminish, dull, or destroy the luster of; to sully; as, to tarnish a metal; to tarnish gilding; to tarnish the purity of color

  2. Tarnish(verb)

    to lose luster; to become dull; as, gilding will tarnish in a foul air

  3. Tarnish(noun)

    the quality or state of being tarnished; stain; soil; blemish

  4. Tarnish(noun)

    a thin film on the surface of a metal, usually due to a slight alteration of the original color; as, the steel tarnish in columbite


  1. Tarnish

    Tarnish is a thin layer of corrosion that forms over copper, brass, silver, aluminum, and other similar metals as their outermost layer undergoes a chemical reaction. Tarnish does not always result from the sole effects of oxygen in the air. For example, silver needs hydrogen sulfide to tarnish; it does not tarnish with only oxygen. It often appears as a dull, gray or black film or coating over metal. Tarnish is a surface phenomenon, that is self-limiting unlike rust. Only the top few layers of the metal react, and the layer of tarnish seals and protects the underlying layers from reacting. Tarnish actually preserves the underlying metal in outdoor use and is called patina. The formation of patina is necessary in applications such as copper roofing, and outdoor copper, bronze, and brass statues and fittings. Patina is the name given to tarnish on copper based metals.

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Translations for tarnish

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • تلطخArabic
  • tummua, liata, tummentuma, tahria, hapettuma, hapettuaFinnish
  • धब्बा लगानाHindi
  • окисление, порочить, потускнение, тускнеть, делать тусклым, пятнатьRussian
  • fläcka, skada, skamfila, besudlaSwedish

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