• IPA: /ˈblɛmɪʃ/

blemish (plural blemishes)

  1. A small flaw which spoils the appearance of something, a stain, a spot.
    • 1769, Oxford Standard Text, King James Bible, Leviticus, 22, xix,
      Ye shall offer at your own will a male without blemish, of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats.
    • 1997, Jean Soler, 5: The Semiotics of Food in the Bible, Carole Counihan, Penny Van Esterik (editors), Food and Culture: A Reader, page 61 ↗,
      Any foot shape deviating from this model is conceived as a blemish, and the animal is unclean.
    • 2003, A. K. Forrest, Chapter 6: Surface Defect Detection on Ceramics, Mark Graves, Bruce Batchelor (editors), Machine Vision for the Inspection of Natural Products, page 193 ↗,
      There are a very large number of types of blemish and the smallest blemish visible to a human can be surprisingly small, for example less than 10μm deep, which may be on the surface of a heavily embossed tile.
  2. A moral defect; a character flaw.
Synonyms Related terms Translations Translations Verb

blemish (blemishes, present participle blemishing; past and past participle blemished)

  1. To spoil the appearance of.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 12, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book II, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      we see ordinarie examples by this licence which wonderfully blemisheth the authoritie and lustre of our law, never to stay upon one sentence, but to run from one to another judge, to decide one same case.
    • 2009, Michael A. Kirkman, Chapter 2: Global Markets fo Processed Potato Products, Jaspreet Singh, Lovedeep Kaur (editors), Advances in Potato Chemistry and Technology, page 40 ↗,
      Generally, varieties in current use for processing are resilient, if not wholly resistant to blemishing diseases and disorders.
    • 2011, Rob Imrie, Emma Street, Architectural Design and Regulation, unnumbered page ↗,
      I mean it reaches a point of ridiculousness in some regards, and one′s seen actually many good schemes here in San Francisco, for example, that have been blemished by an overly strict adherence to codes.
  2. To tarnish (reputation, character, etc.); to defame.
    • There had nothing passed between us that might blemish reputation.

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