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Tar"nish (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Tarnished (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Tarnishing.] [F. ternir, fr. OHG. tarnen to darken, to conceal, hide; akin to OS. dernian to hide, AS. dernan, dyrnan, OHG. tarni hidden, OS. derni, AS. derne, dyrne. Cf. Dern, a., and see -ish.] 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. “Tarnished lace.” Fuller. Used also figuratively; as, to tarnish one's honor.
Syn. -- To sully; stain; dim.
Tar"nish, v. i. To lose luster; to become dull; as, gilding will tarnish in a foul air.
Till thy fresh glories, which now shine so bright, Dryden.
Grow stale and tarnish with our daily sight.
Tar"nish, n. 1. The quality or state of being tarnished; stain; soil; blemish.
2. (Min.) 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.