Definition of smirch in English:


Pronunciation /smərCH/ /smərtʃ/

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Make (something) dirty; soil.

    ‘the window was smirched by heat and smoke’
    • ‘The Germans set a boxcar on fire, which set off a chain reaction of massive explosions that continued until dawn, which revealed a sky smirched with smoke and ash.’
    • ‘With driblets of rust on her hull and at the outset of the anchor cable, she recalled the smirched bathtub of some old hotel.’
    make muddy, cake with dirt, cake with mud, dirty, soil, begrime, grime, mire, spatter, bespatter
    1. 1.1Discredit (a person or their reputation); taint.
      ‘I am not accustomed to having my honor smirched’
      • ‘Corrupt business and politics join hands in Iowa: An expose of how the Associated Packing Co. scandal smirched public officials.’
      • ‘The family of a murdered man know that their honor is smirched.’
      sully, tarnish, besmirch, blacken, drag through the mire, drag through the mud, stain, taint, damage, defame, discredit, defile, vilify, malign, slander, libel, stigmatize, calumniate


  • 1A dirty mark or stain.

    ‘Standing before a small mirror on the inside of his door, Marker dipped his comb into a jar of orange blossom water, slicked his lobe-length black hair behind his ears, and wiped a green smirch off the bridge of his nose.’
    • ‘Away from the sights and Bounds of a great city, with no fear of the smirch from its dusty streets and the weariness from contact with its perspiring crowds, beyond reach of the hum of the too familiar and overfond mosquito, the Summer girl has found a convenient bough from which to swing her hammock.’
    blemish, streak, spot, fleck, dot, blot, stain, smear, trace, speck, speckle, blotch, smudge, smut, smirch, fingermark, fingerprint, impression, imprint
    1. 1.1A blot on someone's character; a flaw.
      • ‘Therefore, who could be ashamed at the smirch of being a distinct and apparently separated branch of the church, if this struggle of not being what others are is necessary to retain Christ?’
      defect, fault, failing, flaw, imperfection, frailty, fallibility, foible, vice


Late 15th century probably symbolic.