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as in: tarnished silver Define
undesired loss of shine or spotting on a metal surface
  • The silver was tarnished by the long exposure to the air.
  • The cleaner removes tarnish on contact.
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as in: tarnished her reputation Define
damage -- usually to reputation or image
  • The scandal tarnished the senator’s image.
  • There is a strong program beneath the tarnish of recent neglect.

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  • The law school’s good name was tarnished by the failure of so many students to pass the Bar Exam.
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  • Towards the middle of the lawn, close to a tarnished bronze statue of Eros, two young men lay on their backs watching the spectacle.
    Mal Peet  --  Tamar
  • The air in the jar smelled of stale breath and tarnished metal.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Mark of Athena

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  • If the fair failed, Burnham knew, the nation’s honor would be tarnished, Chicago humiliated, and his own firm dealt a crushing blow.
    Erik Larson  --  The Devil in the White City
  • They had found a chamber full of skulls and yellowed bones, and four sacks of tarnished silver coins from the reign of the first King Viserys.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Feast For Crows
  • I reach for my mother’s tarnished armlet, wrapped around my bicep, and touch the familiar pattern for strength.
    Sabaa Tahir  --  An Ember in the Ashes
  • It’s nearly black with tarnish, but I prefer it that way; it draws less attention.
    Sabaa Tahir  --  An Ember in the Ashes
  • I had to be relentlessly on my toes to avoid anything that could possibly tarnish my image, my family’s image, or the country at large.
    Kiera Cass  --  The Heir
  • Made of the same steel as her hand and equally tarnished, it felt like an extension of her.
    Marissa Meyer  --  Cinder
  • Their armor, while tarnished, was well crafted from copper and leather.
    Sarah J. Maas  --  Throne of Glass
  • Becky came out carrying a tarnished silver teapot and a stack of china cups and plates.
    Laurie Halse Anderson  --  Chains

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  • The following week the knot-hole yielded a tarnished medal.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • A virtuous woman, too, is like a mirror, of clear shining crystal, liable to be tarnished and dimmed by every breath that touches it.
    Miguel de Cervantes  --  Don Quixote
  • Over the west hung the wasting moon, now dull and greenish-yellow, like tarnished brass.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Far from the Madding Crowd
  • She examined the tarnished tubes and odd-shaped connections.
    Ayn Rand  --  Atlas Shrugged
  • He looked at the paper of the manuscript and at the rusty tarnish of the motor.
    Ayn Rand  --  Atlas Shrugged
  • Let nothing tarnish your memories of Albus Dumbledore!
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • The pale cast of thought was with her a breath rather than a tarnish, a breath that leaves the colours all the more vivid when it has been wiped away.
    E.M. Forster  --  Howards End
  • Her eyes glittered like tarnished dimes.
    Stephen King  --  Misery
  • Church returned with a compact nodule of tarnished steel and placed it on the counter alongside the money.
    Alfred Bester  --  The Demolished Man
  • Here was a tangible remnant of the Riders’ glory, tarnished though it was by the relentless pull of time.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eragon
  • My family’s name has been tarnished beyond recognition by my son’s treatment at the hands of this…this…boy!
    Frank Beddor  --  The Looking Glass Wars
  • It looked as if it was bound in tarnished metal.
    Micheal Scott  --  The Alchemyst
  • She probably wouldn’t want to tarnish her reputation by being seen with us.
    Meg Cabot  --  The Princess Diaries
  • Between two of the bookcases hung a looking-glass, presenting its high and dusty plate within a tarnished gilt frame.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment
  • Langdon occasionally ribbed Peter that the lone tarnish on his sterling pedigree was his diploma from a second-rate university—Yale.
    Dan Brown  --  The Lost Symbol
  • The white had turned to yellow, and the gilding was tarnished.
    Henry James  --  The American
  • Dee snuck in twice, in the dead of night, so as not to tarnish her reputation.
    Larry McMurtry  --  Lonesome Dove
  • Mama’d get cross with her about a tarnished spoon and Constantine would serve her toast burned up for a week.
    Kathryn Stockett  --  The Help
  • Freestanding gaslights housed in tarnished copper fixtures followed the sidewalk that ran parallel to the huge red brick and black rock building.
    P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast  --  Marked
  • "Most of all," Drew continued, "we certainly don’t need our image tarnished by spies, do we, Piper?"
    Rick Riordan  --  The Lost Hero
  • On a tarnished gilt easel before the fireplace stood a crayon portrait of Miss Emily’s father.
    William Faulkner  --  A Rose for Emily
  • An elaborate set of scales had gathered equal amounts of dust in its tarnished brass pans.
    Mal Peet  --  Tamar
  • So tarnished, I might not have noticed it.
    Sabaa Tahir  --  An Ember in the Ashes
  • Her left hand was steel, tarnished and dark between the joints as if it needed a good cleaning.
    Marissa Meyer  --  Cinder
  • Two other doors with tarnished brass pulls faced the hall.
    Laurie Halse Anderson  --  Chains
  • He pushed open a door, and I followed him down a crowded hallway lined with tarnished mirrors and old pictures.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • My imagination was a tarnished mirror.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • Doge is right, how can you let these people tarnish your memories of Dumbledore?
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • His shoulder-straps were a bit tarnished, his clean-shaved cheeks were large and sallow; he looked like a man who would be given to taking snuff—don’t you know?
    Joseph Conrad  --  Lord Jim
  • The water was so clear that he saw him moving below like a tarnished shark among the blue ones that crossed his path without touching him.
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez  --  Love in the Time of Cholera
  • Only her eyes, those tarnished dimes, were fully alive under the shelf of her brow.
    Stephen King  --  Misery
  • Here, before his own wife has greeted him, you may greet the sea-flushed ship-master, just in port, with his vessel’s papers under his arm in a tarnished tin box.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • The dirty snow looked as if it shone through crepe, and the firs behind the churchyard railings, wet and dark like tarnished silver, seemed to be in deep mourning.
    Boris Pasternak  --  Doctor Zhivago
  • She felt he would be tarnishing his skills by putting into words the visions of others, substituting stories from his soul with those that would earn the most dollars.
    David Baldacci  --  Wish You Well
  • At the back of the room a wall of tarnished old mirrors, hung frame to frame, glowed with the silvered light of old ballrooms and candlelit salons.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • The keyhole was the old-fashioned sort, reminding Paul of John Tenniel’s Alice in Wonderland drawings, set in the middle of a tarnished keyplate.
    Stephen King  --  Misery
  • To Adrienne, it seemed as if Amanda had become convinced that moving forward would somehow tarnish her memories of Brent, and she’d made the decision not to allow that to happen.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  Nights in Rodanthe
  • The weather was getting colder and wetter, the nights darker, but no amount of mud, wind, or rain could tarnish Harry’s wonderful vision of finally winning the huge, silver Quidditch Cup.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • There was a confused little crowd of people, principally children, gathered about the house at which we stopped, which had a tarnished brass plate on the door with the inscription JELLYBY.
    Charles Dickens  --  Bleak House
  • Looking down, he saw that the flat stones that formed the surface of the road seemed to be set within tarnished silver, the veins of which formed an irregular, cobweb-like pattern.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Inheritance
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