smut

[ smuht ]
/ smʌt /

noun

a particle of soot; sooty matter.
a black or dirty mark; smudge.
indecent language or publications; obscenity.
Plant Pathology.
  1. a disease of plants, especially cereal grasses, characterized by the conversion of affected parts into black, powdery masses of spores, caused by fungi of the order Ustilaginales.
  2. a fungus causing this disease.

verb (used with object), smut·ted, smut·ting.

to soil or smudge.

verb (used without object), smut·ted, smut·ting.

to become affected with smut, as a plant.

Origin of smut

1580–90; akin to earlier smit (Old English smitte), by association with smudge, smutch

Related forms

an·ti·smut, adjectiveun·smut·ted, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for smut

smut

/ (smʌt) /

noun


verb smuts, smutting or smutted

Derived Forms

smutty, adjectivesmuttily, adverbsmuttiness, noun

Word Origin for smut

Old English smitte; related to Middle High German smitze; associated with smudge, smutch
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

Science definitions for smut

smut

[ smŭt ]

Any of various bacidiomycete fungi that are parasitic on plants and are distinguished by the black, powdery masses of spores that appear as sooty smudges on the affected plant parts. Smuts are parasitic chiefly on cereal grasses like corn and wheat and can cause enormous damage to crops.
Any of the various plant diseases caused by smuts, such as corn smut.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.