verb (used with object)
- smear campaign,
- smear culture,
- smear test,
- smear word,
Origin of smear
Examples from the Web for smear
A vicious Twitter smear campaign against the Harry Potter author may have been the work of secret agents, says one British pol.Did MI5 Spies Troll J.K. Rowling Over Scottish Independence?|The Telegraph|June 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The bias to protect the Clinton and smear their accusers, he added, still exists.
Alinejad says that in her work she had been imprisoned, physically attacked, and the victim of a smear campaign.The Facebook Page Where Iran’s Women Are Unveiling Online|Nina Strochlic|May 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
They listen to their shrewd father, Tywin Lannister, smear their dead son in front of his corpse.Game of Thrones’ Most WTF Sex Scene: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on Jaime Lannister’s Darkest Hour|Marlow Stern|April 21, 2014|DAILY BEAST
When the documents became public, Christie promptly fired Kelly and began a campaign to smear and distance himself from Wildstein.Is David Wildstein Going To Testify Against Chris Christie?|Olivia Nuzzi|April 7, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Melt a little of the ferrule cement and smear a little on the tip of the rod, then push the agate down in place.The Boy Mechanic, Book 2|Various
It looked well, as Dessalines could obtain neither of his favourite paints to smear it with.The Hour and the Man|Harriet Martineau
I must spread the honey on meat; that is, I must smear the dead bee with honey, lightly varnishing it with a camel's-hair brush.Social Life in the Insect World|J. H. Fabre
They smear their leggins and hair with red ochre and grease.The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, Volume 1|Hubert Howe Bancroft
For sunburn boil in butter tender ivy twigs, smear therewith.The Old English Herbals|Eleanour Sinclair Rohde
verb (mainly tr)
- a slanderous attack
- (as modifier)smear tactics
Word Origin for smear
Old English smerian, smierwan "to anoint or rub with grease, oil, etc.," from Proto-Germanic *smerwjan "to spread grease on" (cf. Old Norse smyrja "to anoint, rub with ointment," Danish smøre, Swedish smörja, Dutch smeren, Old High German smirwen "apply salve, smear," German schmieren "to smear;" Old Norse smör "butter"), from PIE *smeru- "grease" (cf. Greek myron "unguent, balsam," Old Irish smi(u)r "marrow," Old English smeoru "fat, grease, ointment, tallow, lard, suet," Lithuanian smarsas "fat").
Figurative sense of "assault a public reputation with unsubstantiated charges" is from 1879. Related: Smeared; smearing. Smear-word, one used regardless of its literal meaning but invested with invective, is from 1938.
"mark or stain left by smearing," 1610s, from smear (v.). Sense of "small quantity prepared for microscopic examination" is from 1903. Meaning "a quantity of cream cheese, etc., smeared on a bagel" is by 1999, from Yiddish shmir. The earliest noun sense in English is "fat, grease, ointment" (c.1200), from Old English had smeoru "fat, grease," cognate with Middle Dutch smere, Dutch smeer, German Schmer "grease, fat" (Yiddish schmir), Danish smør, Swedish smör "butter."