- to spread or daub (an oily, greasy, viscous, or wet substance) on or over something: to smear butter on bread.
- to spread or daub an oily, greasy, viscous, or wet substance on: to smear bread with butter.
- to stain, spot, or make dirty with something oily, greasy, viscous, or wet.
- to sully, vilify, or soil (a reputation, good name, etc.).
- to smudge or blur, as by rubbing: The signature was smeared.
- Slang. to defeat decisively; overwhelm: They smeared the home team.
- an oily, greasy, viscous, or wet substance, especially a dab of such a substance.
- a stain, spot, or mark made by such a substance.
- a smudge.
- something smeared or to be smeared on a thing, as a glaze for pottery.
- a small quantity of something spread thinly on a slide for microscopic examination.
- vilification: a smear by a cheap gossip columnist.
Origin of smear
Related Words for smearsully, sprinkle, dab, tarnish, coat, plaster, smudge, taint, daub, spray, spatter, blur, stain, besmirch, tar, malign, blacken, defame, slander, vilify
Examples from the Web for smear
Contemporary Examples of 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?
June 28, 2014
The bias to protect the Clinton and smear their accusers, he added, still exists.These Clinton Haters Can’t Quit the Crazy
May 22, 2014
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
May 18, 2014
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
April 21, 2014
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?
April 7, 2014
Historical Examples of smear
The eye could not detect one creature in the group free from the smear of blood.A Tale of Two Cities
But it is very improper for such folk to smear themselves with civet.Albert Durer
T. Sturge Moore
Or write with a solution of muriate of antimony, and smear the writing over with a feather dipped in a solution of galls.
Fasten each firmly with a small skewer, smear them over with egg, fry them of a fine brown, and pour a rich brown gravy over.
And what's more, I'll use whatever you're trying, to smear you with.Zero Data
- to bedaub or cover with oil, grease, etc
- to rub over or apply thickly
- to rub so as to produce a smudge
- to slander
- US slang to defeat completely
- (intr) to be or become smeared or dirtied
- a dirty mark or smudge
- a slanderous attack
- (as modifier)smear tactics
- a preparation of blood, secretions, etc, smeared onto a glass slide for examination under a microscope
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."
- A sample, as of blood or bacterial cells, spread thinly on a slide and usually stained for microscopic examination or applied to the surface of a culture medium.