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to soil; tarnish; discolor.
to detract from the honor or luster of:
to besmirch someone’s good name.
Contemporary Examples

How McCain Got Caught in His Own Vicious Cycle Sidney Blumenthal October 14, 2008

Historical Examples

Serapis, Complete Georg Ebers
The Quest Frederik van Eeden
In Love With the Czarina and Other Stories Mr Jkai
Star of Mercia Blanche Devereux
The Key to Success Russell H. Conwell
John Marsh’s Millions Charles Klein
Romain Rolland Stefan Zweig
French Mediaeval Romances from the Lays of Marie de France Marie de France
The Suitors of Yvonne Raphael Sabatini

verb (transitive)
to make dirty; soil
to reduce the brightness or lustre of
to sully (often in the phrase besmirch (a person’s) name)

Our Gayness and our Gilt are all besmyrcht. [“Henry V,” IV.iii.110]

Related: Besmirched; besmirching.


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