What does besmirch mean?

Definitions for besmirch

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word besmirch.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. defame, slander, smirch, asperse, denigrate, calumniate, smear, sully, besmirchverb

    charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone

    "The journalists have defamed me!" "The article in the paper sullied my reputation"

  2. smirch, besmirchverb

    smear so as to make dirty or stained


  1. besmirchverb

    To make dirty; to soil.

  2. besmirchverb

    To tarnish, especially someone's reputation; to debase.

    The newspaper was on a campaign to besmirch the actor.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Besmirchverb

    To soil; to discolour.

    Perhaps he loves you now,
    And now no soil of cautel doth besmirch
    The virtue of his will. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

    Our gayness, and our gilt, are all besmirch’d
    With rainy marching in the painful field. William Shakespeare, Henry V.


  1. besmirch

    Defamation is the act of communicating to a third party false statements about a person, place or thing that results in damage to its reputation. It can be spoken (slander) or written (libel). It constitutes a tort or a crime. The legal definition of defamation and related acts as well as the ways they are dealt with can vary greatly between countries and jurisdictions (what exactly they must consist of, whether they constitute crimes or not, to what extent proving the alleged facts is a valid defence).Defamation laws can encompass a variety of acts: Insult against a legal person in general Defamation against a legal person in general Acts against public officials Acts against state institutions (e.g., government, ministries, government agencies, armed forces) Acts against state symbols Acts against the state itself Acts against religions (e.g., blasphemy, discrimination) Acts against the judiciary or legislature (e.g., contempt of court, censure)


  1. besmirch

    Besmirch generally means to damage the reputation or honor of someone or something by making false or unjust statements. It can also refer to causing harm or damage to the purity, appearance, or cleanliness of something.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Besmirchverb

    to smirch or soil; to discolor; to obscure. Hence: To dishonor; to sully

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Besmirch

    be-smirch′, v.t. to soil, as with smoke or soot: to sully.—v.t. Besmutch′, to besmirch.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of besmirch in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of besmirch in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of besmirch in a Sentence

  1. Donald Trump:

    Why didn't somebody call the FBI 36 years ago ? I mean you could also say when did this all happen, what's going on ? To take a man like this and besmirch -- now with that being said, let her have her say and let's see how it all works out, i think it's a very sad situation. He's an outstanding person.

  2. James Mitchell:

    In my view, the CIA analysts and the CIA targeters are incredible, to do this, to besmirch them, I think, is beyond the pale.

  3. Cyril Ramaphosa:

    I find it very difficult to believe that someone like Gordhan, who has served the country with everything he has and so much pride and total honor, planned to besmirch Zuma and his government overseas, the actions Zuma has [taken] against Gordhan is based solely on assumptions.

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Translations for besmirch

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"besmirch." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 23 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/besmirch>.

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