Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

smudge

[smuhj] /smʌdʒ/
noun
1.
a dirty mark or smear.
2.
a smeary state.
3.
a stifling smoke.
4.
a smoky fire, especially one made for driving away mosquitoes or safeguarding fruit trees from frost.
verb (used with object), smudged, smudging.
5.
to mark with dirty streaks or smears.
6.
to fill with smudge, as to drive away insects or protect fruit trees from frost.
verb (used without object), smudged, smudging.
7.
to form a smudge on something.
8.
to become smudged:
White shoes smudge easily.
9.
to smolder or smoke; emit smoke, as a smudge pot.
Origin of smudge
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English smogen (v.) < ?
Related forms
smudgedly, adverb
smudgeless, adjective
unsmudged, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for smudging
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This blotting, this smudging, is very slight, but it exists; it is always there.

    John Caldigate

    Anthony Trollope
  • Windbreaks as often favor the frost as the vine, and smudging or heating the vineyards is too expensive to be practical.

  • smudging is too expensive for the extensive system of peach-orcharding practiced in the East.

    The Peaches of New York U. P. Hedrick
  • Hundreds of votive candles blaze and smoke in the grotto, smudging the whole with nasty soot.

    Winged Wheels in France Michael Myers Shoemaker
  • It was as though a hand had been passed over the picture, smudging the outlines and rendering the whole thing of dubious value.

    Aliens William McFee
  • Nevertheless, the assassin was quite equal to smudging out the detectives, believe me, Sir Walter.

    The Grey Room Eden Phillpotts
  • The streak of something slovenly crept into the nobility, smudging it, so to speak, with a blur.

    The Bright Messenger Algernon Blackwood
  • Windbreaks, whitewashing, smudging, and orchard-heaters are all failures in frost-fighting in this State.

    The Pears of New York U. P. Hedrick
  • Out fluttered one of those bits of tissue paper that come between engraved cardsto keep em from smudging, you know.

British Dictionary definitions for smudging

smudging

/ˈsmʌdʒɪŋ/
noun
1.
a traditional Native American method of using smoke from burning herbs to purify a space

smudge

/smʌdʒ/
verb
1.
to smear, blur, or soil or cause to do so
2.
(transitive) (mainly US & Canadian) to fill (an area) with smoke in order to drive insects away or guard against frost
noun
3.
a smear or dirty mark
4.
a blurred form or area: that smudge in the distance is a quarry
5.
(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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for smudging

smudge

v.

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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for smudge

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for smudging

13
18
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for smudging