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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for smudge
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Such is the story of the hole which you have marked, and of the smudge upon the wood.

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

    Raiders Invisible Desmond Winter Hall
  • And to-day "the smudge" has grown more than ever ineffective.

    Women's Wild Oats C. Gasquoine Hartley
  • "Come to council," I sent up, while they helped to keep the smudge thick.

    Pluck on the Long Trail

    Edwin L. Sabin
  • “What a shame,” he said, as it fell on his letter, and made a smudge.

    Eric, or Little by Little Frederic W. Farrar
  • Come now, Fairy, you needn't wrinkle up that smudge of a nose at me.

    Prudence Says So

    Ethel Hueston
  • Oil of citronella will drive them away for a time but a "smudge" may be necessary.

  • It might pass in my handwriting, with a smudge for paternal grief—it might.

  • He opened his silver cigarette case and rubbed a smudge from the initials.

    When the Owl Cries Paul Bartlett
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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