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smudge

[smuhj]
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noun
  1. a dirty mark or smear.
  2. a smeary state.
  3. a stifling smoke.
  4. a smoky fire, especially one made for driving away mosquitoes or safeguarding fruit trees from frost.
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verb (used with object), smudged, smudg·ing.
  1. to mark with dirty streaks or smears.
  2. to fill with smudge, as to drive away insects or protect fruit trees from frost.
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verb (used without object), smudged, smudg·ing.
  1. to form a smudge on something.
  2. to become smudged: White shoes smudge easily.
  3. to smolder or smoke; emit smoke, as a smudge pot.
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Origin of smudge

1400–50; late Middle English smogen (v.) < ?
Related formssmudg·ed·ly, adverbsmudge·less, adjectiveun·smudged, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for smudging

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • This blotting, this smudging, is very slight, but it exists; it is always there.

    John Caldigate

    Anthony Trollope

  • Windbreaks as often favor the frost as the vine, and smudging or heating the vineyards is too expensive to be practical.

  • Smudging is too expensive for the extensive system of peach-orcharding practiced in the East.

  • Hundreds of votive candles blaze and smoke in the grotto, smudging the whole with nasty soot.

    Winged Wheels in France

    Michael Myers Shoemaker

  • It was as though a hand had been passed over the picture, smudging the outlines and rendering the whole thing of dubious value.

    Aliens

    William McFee


British Dictionary definitions for smudging

smudging

noun
  1. a traditional Native American method of using smoke from burning herbs to purify a space
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smudge

verb
  1. to smear, blur, or soil or cause to do so
  2. (tr) mainly US and Canadian to fill (an area) with smoke in order to drive insects away or guard against frost
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noun
  1. a smear or dirty mark
  2. a blurred form or areathat smudge in the distance is a quarry
  3. mainly US and Canadian a smoky fire for driving insects away or protecting fruit trees or plants from frost
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Derived Formssmudgeless, adjectivesmudgily or smudgedly, adverb

Word Origin

C15: of uncertain origin
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 smudging

smudge

v.

early 15c., smogen "to soil, stain, blacken," of obscure origin. Related: Smudged; smudging. Meaning "make a smoky fire" is from 1860, hence smudge-pot (1903). The noun meaning "a stain, spot, smear" is first attested 1768, from the verb.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper