variants or schmeer
plural schmears or schmeers
informal : a group of related things
One false move and the whole schmear [=the entire thing, everything] will come crashing to the floor.Jeffrey L. Seglin
informal : a layer of a spreadable food or condiment
He eats one virtually every day, 'round noon or 1 p.m., topped with the faintest schmear of peanut butter.Mary Bilyeu
especially : a layer of cream cheese
… the reverential tones that the Milanese reserve for a perfect risotto, or New Yorkers for a classic bagel with a schmear. Jack Knox
While visiting New York a few years ago, Dan Winters popped into a bodega and ordered a plain with a schmear. The clerk just stared at him, and Winters, who spent four years in the city starting in the late 1980s, realized the guy had no idea what he was saying. Times had changed, even for breakfast. "No one said, 'Let me get a bagel with cream cheese,'" Winters says. "It was 'plain with a schmear.'" Laura Mallonee

Examples of schmear in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Bagels without a schmear cost $2, with a plain schmear cost $4.25, and with a specialty schmear cost $5.25. Joseph Hernandez, Kansas City Star, 3 Feb. 2024 The vegetables change seasonally and are always perfectly crisp and served with a schmear of bracingly spicy and/or tart mayo. Ben Mims, Los Angeles Times, 21 Jan. 2024 Slicing them and giving them a few minutes in the toaster, then adding a schmear of cream cheese, is the perfect way to enjoy them with your morning coffee. Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, 28 Dec. 2023 Top them with schmears such as pepper jelly, bacon-scallion, and the dairy- and nut-free Amazeball spread. The Bon Appétit Staff & Contributors, Bon Appétit, 27 June 2023 In North America, the typical break fast cuisine stems from Jewish deli fare: Bagels, lox, schmears and all the fixings. Sofia Barrett, CNN, 24 Sep. 2023 Must order: Everything bagel with lox schmear 11 of 20 Bazaar Meat by José Andrés Calling all carnivores: Book a table at Bazaar Meat by José Andrés. Lauren Dana Ellman, Travel + Leisure, 7 Oct. 2023 Evan Agostini/Invision/AP While not one of the major food groups, a bagel and a schmear made of felt might satisfy your appetite for art. John Carucci, Fortune, 4 Oct. 2023 Ham and Swiss with mayo would be a delicious option, as would turkey with a schmear of cranberry mustard. Laura Kanya, Southern Living, 10 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'schmear.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Yiddish shmir smear

First Known Use

1909, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of schmear was in 1909

Dictionary Entries Near schmear

Cite this Entry

“Schmear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

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