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[Dutch smœts; English smuhts] /Dutch smœts; English smʌts/
Jan Christiaan
[Dutch yahn kris-tee-ahn] /Dutch yɑn ˈkrɪs tiˌɑn/ (Show IPA),
1870–1950, South African statesman and general: prime minister 1919–24, 1939–48.


[smuht] /smʌt/
a particle of soot; sooty matter.
a black or dirty mark; smudge.
indecent language or publications; obscenity.
Plant Pathology.
  1. a disease of plants, especially cereal grasses, characterized by the conversion of affected parts into black, powdery masses of spores, caused by fungi of the order Ustilaginales.
  2. a fungus causing this disease.
verb (used with object), smutted, smutting.
to soil or smudge.
verb (used without object), smutted, smutting.
to become affected with smut, as a plant.
Origin of smut
1580-90; akin to earlier smit (Old English smitte), by association with smudge, smutch
Related forms
antismut, adjective
unsmutted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Smuts
Historical Examples
  • I have already given you a hint of the Smuts personal appearance.

    An African Adventure Isaac F. Marcosson
  • The alterations are in the handwriting of Generals Smuts and Hertzog.

    The Peace Negotiations J. D. Kestell
  • It was now that we heard definitely that General Smuts was in the field with the forces south of us.

    With Botha in the Field Eric Moore Ritchie
  • General Smuts: The word "property" includes every form of property.

    The Peace Negotiations J. D. Kestell
  • Suddenly Smuts cast his eye over the long room and saw a solitary man just commencing his dinner in the opposite corner.

    An African Adventure Isaac F. Marcosson
  • I got a hint of what Smuts was up against the moment I arrived.

    An African Adventure Isaac F. Marcosson
  • It has been contended by Smuts' enemies that he was a "creature of Rhodes."

    An African Adventure Isaac F. Marcosson
  • Smuts was just going out and encountered the man carrying it in.

    An African Adventure Isaac F. Marcosson
  • General Smuts: "As soon as there is a final answer to our proposal we shall be able to take a fresh one into consideration."

    Three Years' War Christiaan Rudolf de Wet
  • The contrast between Smuts and his predecessor Botha is striking.

    An African Adventure Isaac F. Marcosson
British Dictionary definitions for Smuts


Jan Christiaan (jan ˈkristiˌan). 1870–1950, South African statesman; prime minister (1919–24; 1939–48). He fought for the Boers during the Boer War, then worked for Anglo-Boer reconciliation and served the Allies during World Wars I and II


a small dark smudge or stain, esp one caused by soot
a speck of soot or dirt
something obscene or indecent
  1. any of various fungal diseases of flowering plants, esp cereals, in which black sooty masses of spores cover the affected parts
  2. any parasitic basidiomycetous fungus of the order Ustilaginales that causes such a disease
(angling) a minute midge or other insect relished by trout
verb smuts, smutting, smutted
to mark or become marked or smudged, as with soot
to affect (grain) or (of grain) to be affected with smut
(transitive) to remove smut from (grain)
(transitive) to make obscene
(intransitive) to emit soot or smut
(intransitive) (angling) (of trout) to feed voraciously on smuts
Derived Forms
smutty, adjective
smuttily, adverb
smuttiness, noun
Word Origin
Old English smitte; related to Middle High German smitze; associated with smudge, smutch
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 Smuts



1660s, "black mark, stain," from verb smutten "debase, defile" (late 14c.), later "stain or mark with soot, etc." (1580s), cognate with Middle High German smotzen "make dirty," from West Germanic *smutt- (cf. Middle High German smuz "grease, dirt;" German Schmutz "dirt," schmutzen "to make dirty"). The meaning "indecent or obscene language" is first attested 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Smuts in Science
  1. Any of various bacidiomycete fungi that are parasitic on plants and are distinguished by the black, powdery masses of spores that appear as sooty smudges on the affected plant parts. Smuts are parasitic chiefly on cereal grasses like corn and wheat and can cause enormous damage to crops.

  2. Any of the various plant diseases caused by smuts, such as corn smut.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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