verb (used with object), slurred, slur·ring.

verb (used without object), slurred, slur·ring.

to read, speak, or sing hurriedly and carelessly.


Origin of slur

1595–1605; apparently of multiple orig.; in senses referring to a gliding or smooth transition, compare Low German slurren to shuffle, Dutch sleuren to trail, drag; in senses referring to a smirch or stain, compare Middle Dutch slore (Dutch sloor) sluttish woman
Related formsun·slurred, adjective

Synonyms for slur

Antonyms for slur Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for slur

Contemporary Examples of slur

Historical Examples of slur

British Dictionary definitions for slur


verb slurs, slurring or slurred (mainly tr)

(often foll by over) to treat superficially, hastily, or without due deliberation; gloss
(also intr) to pronounce or utter (words, etc) indistinctly
to speak disparagingly of or cast aspersions on
music to execute (a melodic interval of two or more notes) smoothly, as in legato performance
(also intr) to blur or smear
archaic to stain or smear; sully


an indistinct sound or utterance
a slighting remark; aspersion
a stain or disgrace, as upon one's reputation; stigma
  1. a performance or execution of a melodic interval of two or more notes in a part
  2. the curved line (⌢ or ⌣) indicating this
a blur or smear

Word Origin for slur

C15: probably from Middle Low German; compare Middle Low German slūren to drag, trail, Middle Dutch sloren, Dutch sleuren
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 slur

"deliberate slight, disparaging or slighting remark," c.1600, from dialectal slur "thin or fluid mud," from Middle English slore (mid-15c.), cognate with Middle Low German sluren, Middle Dutch sloren "to trail in mud." Related to East Frisian sluren "to go about carelessly," Norwegian slora "to be careless." Literal sense of "a mark, stain, smear" is from 1660s in English. The musical sense (1746) is from the notion of "sliding." Meaning "act or habit of slurring" in speech is from 1882.


c.1600, "smear, soil by smearing," from slur (n.). Meaning "disparage depreciate" is from 1650s. In music, from 1746; of speech, from 1893. Related: Slurred; slurring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper