[ smeer ]
See synonyms for: smearsmearedsmearing on

verb (used with object)
  1. to spread or daub (an oily, greasy, viscous, or wet substance) on or over something: to smear butter on bread.

  2. to spread or daub an oily, greasy, viscous, or wet substance on: to smear bread with butter.

  1. to stain, spot, or make dirty with something oily, greasy, viscous, or wet.

  2. to sully, vilify, or soil (a reputation, good name, etc.).

  3. to smudge or blur, as by rubbing: The signature was smeared.

  4. Slang. to defeat decisively; overwhelm: They smeared the home team.

  1. an oily, greasy, viscous, or wet substance, especially a dab of such a substance.

  2. a stain, spot, or mark made by such a substance.

  1. a smudge.

  2. something smeared or to be smeared on a thing, as a glaze for pottery.

  3. a small quantity of something spread thinly on a slide for microscopic examination.

  4. vilification: a smear by a cheap gossip columnist.

Origin of smear

before 900; (v.) Middle English smeren, smirien to rub with fat, anoint, Old English smirian, smerian, smerwan; cognate with Dutch smeren,German schmieren,Old Norse smyrja, smyrwa; (noun) in current senses derivative of the v.; compare obsolete smear fat, grease, ointment, Middle English smere,Old English smeoru, cognate with Dutch smear,German Schmer,Old Norse smjǫr grease, Greek smýris rubbing powder; see emery

Other words from smear

  • smearer, noun
  • un·smeared, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use smear in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for smear


/ (smɪə) /

verb(mainly tr)
  1. to bedaub or cover with oil, grease, etc

  2. to rub over or apply thickly

  1. to rub so as to produce a smudge

  2. to slander

  3. US slang to defeat completely

  4. (intr) to be or become smeared or dirtied

  1. a dirty mark or smudge

    • a slanderous attack

    • (as modifier): smear tactics

  1. a preparation of blood, secretions, etc, smeared onto a glass slide for examination under a microscope

Origin of smear

Old English smeoru (n); related to Old Norse smjör fat, Old High German smero, Greek muron ointment

Derived forms of smear

  • smearer, 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