1. to discolor or soil; spot or smudge with or as with soot, dust, dirt, etc.
2. to sully or tarnish (a person, reputation, character, etc.); disgrace; discredit.
1. a dirty mark or smear, as of soot, dust, dirt, etc.
2. a stain or blot, as on reputation.
…that he could not give him back his life without incurring the smirch of this disgrace, without even endangering himself.
— John Galsworthy , The First and the Last , 1919…
Rupert Hentzau had him soundly flogged for daring to smirch the morals of Zenda by staying out all night in the pursuits of love.
— Anthony Hope , Rupert of Hentzau , 1895
Smirch has been around in English since the late 1400s. Its origins are uncertain, though it may have come from the Old French esmorcher meaning “to torment” or “torture.”