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[smuhj] /smʌdʒ/
a dirty mark or smear.
a smeary state.
a stifling smoke.
a smoky fire, especially one made for driving away mosquitoes or safeguarding fruit trees from frost.
verb (used with object), smudged, smudging.
to mark with dirty streaks or smears.
to fill with smudge, as to drive away insects or protect fruit trees from frost.
verb (used without object), smudged, smudging.
to form a smudge on something.
to become smudged:
White shoes smudge easily.
to smolder or smoke; emit smoke, as a smudge pot.
Origin of smudge
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English smogen (v.) < ?
Related forms
smudgedly, adverb
smudgeless, adjective
unsmudged, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for smudge
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He held the lamp down and illuminated a smudge of blood like the mark of a boot-sole upon the wooden sill.

    The Valley of Fear Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Ahead, he could see the smudge of the Black Fleet's smoke on the horizon.

    Raiders Invisible Desmond Winter Hall
  • Brown (trying to find something to admire in smudge's painting).

  • And to-day "the smudge" has grown more than ever ineffective.

    Women's Wild Oats C. Gasquoine Hartley
  • Out toward St Cast crept an early pleasure steamer, its smoke trailing behind it like a smudge of brown worsted.

    The Tower of Oblivion Oliver Onions
  • "Come to council," I sent up, while they helped to keep the smudge thick.

    Pluck on the Long Trail Edwin L. Sabin
  • Get as much information into the drawing of your lights and shadows as possible; don't be satisfied with a smudge effect.

  • Come now, Fairy, you needn't wrinkle up that smudge of a nose at me.

    Prudence Says So Ethel Hueston
  • In the meantime the alarm and impatience of smudge and his companions, very sensibly increased.

    Afloat And Ashore James Fenimore Cooper
British Dictionary definitions for smudge


to smear, blur, or soil or cause to do so
(transitive) (mainly US & Canadian) to fill (an area) with smoke in order to drive insects away or guard against frost
a smear or dirty mark
a blurred form or area: that smudge in the distance is a quarry
(mainly US & Canadian) a smoky fire for driving insects away or protecting fruit trees or plants from frost
Derived Forms
smudgeless, adjective
smudgily, smudgedly, adverb
Word Origin
C15: of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for smudge

early 15c., smogen "to soil, stain, blacken," of obscure origin. Related: Smudged; smudging. Meaning "make a smoky fire" is from 1860, hence smudge-pot (1903). The noun meaning "a stain, spot, smear" is first attested 1768, from the verb.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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