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See more synonyms for smegma on Thesaurus.com
  1. a thick, cheeselike, sebaceous secretion that collects beneath the foreskin or around the clitoris.
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Origin of smegma

1810–20; < Latin < Greek smêgma unguent, soap, cleansing medicine
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for smegma

Historical Examples

  • Of these, the smegma bacillus is the only one likely ever to cause confusion.

    A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis

    James Campbell Todd

British Dictionary definitions for smegma


  1. physiol a whitish sebaceous secretion that accumulates beneath the prepuce
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Word Origin

C19: via Latin from Greek smēgma detergent, from smekhein to wash
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 smegma


sebaceous secretion, 1819, from Latin, from Greek smegma "a detergent, soap, unguent," from smekhein "to wipe off, wipe clean, cleanse," from PIE root *sme- "to smear" (cf. Czech smetana "cream," and cf. smear (v.)). So called from resemblance; a medical coinage, the word seems not to have been used in its literal Greek sense in English before this. Related: Smegmatic.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

smegma in Medicine


  1. A sebaceous secretion, especially the whitish cheesy secretion that collects under the prepuce of the penis or around the clitoris.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.