besmirch

To besmirch means to dirty or tarnish, particularly someone's reputation — like when you call Billy a cheater at kickball (even though you know he's just better at bunting than you).

Besmirch may sound kind of funny, but it goes hand in hand with other hurtful words like defame and slander. It can also mean to literally stain something. So that time you tracked mud all over the new white carpet and then blamed it on your little brother? That was a double besmirching — dirtying the rug and then falsely accusing a sibling.

Definitions of besmirch
  1. verb
    smear so as to make dirty or stained
    synonyms: smirch
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    type of:
    smear
    stain by smearing or daubing with a dirty substance
  2. verb
    charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone
    synonyms: asperse, calumniate, defame, denigrate, slander, smear, smirch, sully
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    types:
    assassinate
    destroy or damage seriously, as of someone's reputation
    libel
    print slanderous statements against
    badmouth, drag through the mud, malign, traduce
    speak unfavorably about
    type of:
    accuse, charge
    blame for, make a claim of wrongdoing or misbehavior against
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