- 1 [intransitive, transitive] if metal tarnishes or something tarnishes it, it no longer looks bright and shiny The mirrors had tarnished with age. tarnish something The silver candlesticks were tarnished and dusty.
- 2[transitive] tarnish something to spoil the good opinion people have of someone or something synonym taint He hopes to improve the newspaper's somewhat tarnished public image.
NAmE//ˈtɑrnɪʃ//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they tarnish
he / she / it tarnishes
past simple tarnished
-ing form tarnishing