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See more synonyms for besmear on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to smear all over; bedaub.
  2. to sully; defile; soil: to besmear someone's reputation.
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Origin of besmear

before 1050; Middle English bismeren, Old English besmerian. See be-, smear
Related formsbe·smear·er, nounun·be·smeared, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for besmear

sully, disgrace, tarnish, soil, blacken, smudge, denigrate, taint, befoul, dirty, smear, stain, cloud, besmirch

Examples from the Web for besmear

Historical Examples of besmear

  • They also besmear their bodies with grease and coloured earths.

    The Natural History of the Varieties of Man

    Robert Gordon Latham

  • His intensity of loathing leads him to besmear his antagonists with filth.


    Leslie Stephen

  • They make little fires during the day, sleeping at night among the warm ashes, with which they besmear their bodies.

  • In all history it has been shown that he who seeks to besmear others usually leaves the greatest amount of mud on himself.

    My Attainment of the Pole

    Frederick A. Cook

  • When serpents sting, the only remedy is to kill the serpent, and besmear the wound with the fat.

British Dictionary definitions for besmear


verb (tr)
  1. to smear over; daub
  2. to sully; defile (often in the phrase besmear (a person's) reputation)
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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

Word Origin and History for besmear


Old English bismierwan, besmyrwan (West Saxon), besmerwan (Anglian); see be- + smear (v.). Related: Besmeared; besmearing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper