a thick, cheeselike, sebaceous secretion that collects beneath the foreskin or around the clitoris.

Nearby words

  1. smectite,
  2. smeddum,
  3. smedley,
  4. smee,
  5. smeech,
  6. smegmalith,
  7. smell,
  8. smell a rat,
  9. smell fishy,
  10. smell to high heaven

Origin of smegma

1810–20; < Latin < Greek smêgma unguent, soap, cleansing medicine Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for smegma

British Dictionary definitions for smegma



physiol a whitish sebaceous secretion that accumulates beneath the prepuce

Word Origin for smegma

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for smegma




A sebaceous secretion, especially the whitish cheesy secretion that collects under the prepuce of the penis or around the clitoris.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.