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Figurative UsePlay
Used metaphorically to describe harm done to intangible things, like reputations. SlideA single scandal may tarnish a politician's entire career.
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Negative ConnotationPlay
Has a negative feel, implying harm or reduced quality that could have been avoided. SlideHe did nothing wrong, but gossip tarnished his social standing.
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Irreversible ChangePlay
Often suggests a permanent or hard-to-reverse effect. SlideThe once-beloved hero's actions tarnished his legacy forever.