[ smuht ]
See synonyms for smut on
  1. a particle of soot; sooty matter.

  2. a black or dirty mark; smudge.

  1. indecent language or publications; obscenity.

  2. Plant Pathology.

    • 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.

    • a fungus causing this disease.

verb (used with object),smut·ted, smut·ting.
  1. to soil or smudge.

verb (used without object),smut·ted, smut·ting.
  1. to become affected with smut, as a plant.

Origin of smut

First recorded in 1580–90; akin to earlier smit (Old English smitte ), by association with smudge, smutch

Other words from smut

  • an·ti·smut, adjective
  • un·smut·ted, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for smut


/ (smʌt) /

  1. a small dark smudge or stain, esp one caused by soot

  2. a speck of soot or dirt

  1. something obscene or indecent

    • any of various fungal diseases of flowering plants, esp cereals, in which black sooty masses of spores cover the affected parts

    • any parasitic basidiomycetous fungus of the order Ustilaginales that causes such a disease

  2. angling a minute midge or other insect relished by trout

verbsmuts, smutting or smutted
  1. to mark or become marked or smudged, as with soot

  2. to affect (grain) or (of grain) to be affected with smut

  1. (tr) to remove smut from (grain)

  2. (tr) to make obscene

  3. (intr) to emit soot or smut

  4. (intr) angling (of trout) to feed voraciously on smuts

Origin of smut

Old English smitte; related to Middle High German smitze; associated with smudge, smutch

Derived forms of smut

  • smutty, adjective
  • smuttily, adverb
  • smuttiness, noun

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

Scientific definitions for smut


[ smŭt ]

  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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.