smear

noun
\ ˈsmir How to pronounce smear (audio) \

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 attributivelya 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

Synonyms for smear

Synonyms: Verb

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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 Afterward, the lawsuit states, La Luz del Mundo mounted a smear campaign against her family in Mexico and California and attempted to buy her silence, vandalized her home and followed her. Washington Post, "Lawsuit: Mexican megachurch leaders abused woman for years," 14 Feb. 2020 Survivors who have spoken out against Glaser, and their relatives, say they have also been subjected to intimidation, as well as a smear campaign, coordinated on a Facebook page titled Justice For Bery. Charity Atukunda, CNN, "They were sent to a shelter for safety. Instead, these women say they were sexually abused," 13 Feb. 2020 To protect its market position, Crypto and its secret owners engaged in subtle smear campaigns against rival companies, according to the documents, and plied government officials with bribes. Greg Miller, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Intelligence coup of the century’: How the CIA was able to read encrypted messages of allies and adversaries for decades," 11 Feb. 2020 Trump fired Yovanovitch in May following a smear campaign by Giuliani and his associates. Anna Schecter, NBC News, "Dutch Trump superfan who claimed he surveilled Ambassador Yovanovitch told people he was DEA," 29 Jan. 2020 The Times’ Kavanaugh smear was deliciously exposed in a series of tweets by journalist Mollie Hemingway, senior writer for The Federalist. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "Column: The latest smear against Justice Brett Kavanaugh part of left’s scorched-earth strategy," 18 Sep. 2019 The House investigation showed how Giuliani and his co-conspirators waged a smear campaign to remove Marie Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, from her post in Kiev. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "There’s Still So Much We Don’t Know About Trump’s Ukraine Scandal," 15 Jan. 2020 The ousted diplomat testified during House impeachment hearings last year that she was removed from her perch after a successful smear campaign by Giuliani and other Trump allies. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "Documents from Giuliani associate Lev Parnas point to surveillance of US ambassador to Ukraine," 14 Jan. 2020 When the shooting was over, the UPS truck’s windshield was riddled with bullet holes and someone was lying on the ground in what appeared to be a smear of blood. Tonya Alanez, sun-sentinel.com, "Did cops in shootout blow it and put lives at risk? Victim’s family demands answers.," 6 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Again, using your fingers, smear the garlic mixture under the skin of the chicken directly on the breast and thighs, working the butter towards the leg meat. CBS News, "The Dish: Acclaimed pastry chef Claudia Fleming shares her favorite sweet and savory recipes," 15 Feb. 2020 In 2017, for example, Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, was assassinated in the Kuala Lumpur airport by two women who allegedly smeared VX on his face. Sophia Chen, Wired, "This Cloth Destroys Deadly Nerve Agents in Minutes," 4 Feb. 2020 Suspicion: Marsol Road An apartment tenant found an unknown substance smeared on her front door Nov. 17. cleveland, "Restaurant employee steals co-workers credit card to buy beer: Mayfield Heights Police Blotter," 27 Nov. 2019 Another describes being moved into a temporary townhouse to escape their previous mold-infested one, only to find urine on the toilet seat, peanut butter smeared on the stairs, and still more mold. Washington Post, "Military families decry 'outrageous’ mold-infested housing at Fort Meade," 12 Nov. 2019 The flaps of the set’s tepees are smeared red from all the people entering and exiting. Jennifer Percy, Harper's magazine, "The Skinning Tree," 20 Jan. 2020 During Canada’s federal election campaign this year, party leaders tried to smear their rivals with comparisons to Trump. Amanda Coletta, Washington Post, "Trump cameo cut from Canadian broadcast of Home Alone 2, riling his U.S. fans," 26 Dec. 2019 Marko said the department tried to smear both employees but jurors instead repudiated the department. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Jury awards husband and wife prison employees $11.4M in racial discrimination case," 9 Sep. 2019 Carmody sold the confidential report about Adachi’s death to local television stations, causing an uproar among city officials who believed someone in the Police Department was trying to smear the late public defender, a longtime police adversary. Evan Sernoffsky, SFChronicle.com, "Adachi leak: Second SF judge had evidence subject of police raid was journalist," 13 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for smear

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for smear

Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Smear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/smear. Accessed 29 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for smear

smear

noun
How to pronounce smear (audio)

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 How to pronounce smear (audio) \
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 How to pronounce smear (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on smear

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for smear

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with smear

Spanish Central: Translation of smear

Nglish: Translation of smear for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of smear for Arabic Speakers

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