smear

noun
\ˈsmir \

Definition of smear 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a viscous or sticky substance

b : a spot made by or as if by an unctuous or adhesive substance

2 : material smeared on a surface (as of a microscopic slide) also : a preparation made by smearing material on a surface a vaginal smear

3 : a usually unsubstantiated charge or accusation against a person or organization often used attributively a smear campaigna smear job

smear

verb
smeared; smearing; smears

Definition of smear (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to overspread with something unctuous, viscous, or adhesive : daub smeared the paper with glue

b : to spread over a surface

2a : to stain, smudge, or dirty by or as if by smearing

b : sully, besmirch specifically : to vilify especially by secretly and maliciously spreading grave charges and imputations

3 : to obliterate, obscure, blur, blend, wipe out, or defeat by or as if by smearing

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Other Words from smear

Verb

smearer noun

Examples of smear in a Sentence

Noun

The blood smear revealed malaria.

Verb

The children smeared the window with fingerprints. She smeared jam on her toast. Butter was smeared all over the counter. Her mascara smeared when she cried.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Attacks on my family and smears from scared establishment insiders are swamp campaigning 101. Bryan Lowry, kansascity, "‘His social views were liberal.’ Candidate met with Dems before launching GOP run," 13 July 2018 During the pilot shoot, with Sam nowhere to be found, Bash dons a tuxedo, lovingly smears glitter on his eyelids and steps into his dream role as GLOW’s announcer. Judy Berman, New York Times, "What to Remember Before ‘GLOW’ Comes Back for Season 2," 25 June 2018 Racist, sexist and all-around offensive humor still seems to be a favorite pastime for college kids who love to use the n-word and smear on blackface for fun. Angela Helm, The Root, "15 Syracuse University Fraternity Members Suspended Over ‘Extremely Racist’ Video Skit," 10 June 2018 So, dream big! Bake every floor-through apartment, fantasy job, or gorgeous new lover into each layer, smear lovingly with raspberry jam and sour cream frosting, and decorate with absurd wild abandon. Alison Roman, The Cut, "Forget Engagement Chicken. Meet Breakup Steak.," 6 June 2018 For the first time, harassment and smear campaigns against women running for a seat in parliament moved online. Ali Abdul-hassan And Sinan Salaheddin, The Christian Science Monitor, "Despite challenges, Iraq's female candidates run for parliament," 3 May 2018 One of the most notable smear campaigns from the Democrats took place in the 1980s during Ronald Reagan's nomination of an originalist an intellectual to the Supreme Court. Fox News, "Sekulow: Kavanaugh will be a brilliant Supreme Court justice," 10 July 2018 Unlike other races for public office where smear tactics may be used, judicial candidates are required to remain civil. Marc Freeman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Florida Supreme Court orders judge removed over campaign misconduct," 2 July 2018 Monday’s announcement follows a recommendation from the state’s judicial watchdog, which called Santino unfit for the job because of the way her election bid included smears against her opponent’s criminal defense practice. Marc Freeman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Florida Supreme Court orders judge removed over campaign misconduct," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Then smear some on the white chair in the living room, for good measure. Kim Fusaro, Woman's Day, "Poop Happens. Sometimes, All Over Your Apartment," 20 Feb. 2012 The former test is done by smearing sunscreen on a participant's back, having them soak in water, then exposing them to six intensities of UVB light from a sun simulator. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "Consumer Reports' 5 Best Sunscreens for Summer," 11 May 2018 McConnell is currently dealing with a West Virginia Republican primary in which one leading contender, Don Blankenship, is a criminal who has smeared McConnell as a cocaine smuggler and made racist attacks against his family. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "McConnell Won’t Say if Blankenship Is Racist Until He Knows Election Result," 8 May 2018 In 2015, letter carriers began to notice that the standard blue sidewalk mailboxes in some Bronx and Manhattan neighborhoods had been smeared with gluey substances. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "The “Cadillac of Mailboxes” Arrives in N.Y.C.," 30 Apr. 2018 Two Southeast Asian women have pleaded not guilty to killing Kim Jong Nam by smearing a nerve agent on his face in a plot that prosecutors say was masterminded by North Korean agents. Eileen Ng, The Seattle Times, "Malaysia: Security beefed up after Palestinian gunned down," 22 Apr. 2018 Two women, Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, are on trial on charges of murdering Kim by smearing his face with VX. NBC News, "U.S. sanctions North Korea over VX assassination of Kim Jong Nam," 7 Mar. 2018 Their eggs—known as oocysts—can survive in soil, smeared onto foliage, and floating in seawater for months up to years at a time. Kim Steutermann Rogers, Smithsonian, "How the Tiniest of Parasites is Taking Down the Mightiest of Monk Seals," 9 July 2018 Their faces were smeared with dirt, their tunics stiff with mud, their heads swathed in rags. Mary Horlock, Longreads, "The Camouflage Artist: Two Worlds Wars, Two Loves, and One Great Deception," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'smear.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of smear

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for smear

Noun

Middle English smere, from Old English smeoru; akin to Old High German smero grease and probably to Old Irish smiur marrow

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Learn More about smear

Dictionary Entries near smear

smattery

smaze

sm cap

smear

smearcase

smear dab

smear dock

Statistics for smear

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for smear

The first known use of smear was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for smear

smear

noun

English Language Learners Definition of smear

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a dirty mark, spot, streak, etc., made by touching or rubbing something

medical : a very small sample of something (such as skin or blood) that someone examines with a microscope

: an untrue story about a person that is meant to hurt that person's reputation

smear

verb

English Language Learners Definition of smear (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (something) dirty by rubbing it with something else

: to spread (something) over a surface

: to spread or drip in an untidy way

smear

verb
\ˈsmir \
smeared; smearing

Kids Definition of smear

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to spread or soil with something oily or sticky So Bean carefully smeared white all over Ivy's face except her lips.— Annie Barrows, Ivy {ampersand} Bean

2 : to spread over a surface Her makeup smeared.

3 : to harm the reputation of (someone) with false statements

smear

noun

Kids Definition of smear (Entry 2 of 2)

: a spot or streak made by or as if by an oily or sticky substance : smudge

smear

noun
\ˈsmi(ə)r \

Medical Definition of smear 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: material spread on a surface (as of a microscopic slide) also : a preparation made by spreading material on a surface — see pap smear, vaginal smear

Medical Definition of smear (Entry 2 of 2)

: to prepare as a smear for microscopic examination : make a smear of

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