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 Meanwhile, at least two congressional candidates have participated in the smear campaign. Anchorage Daily News, "As Trump signals willingness to break with experts, his base assails Fauci," 27 Mar. 2020 His enemies frequently called him a communist and the FBI targeted King with harassment and a lengthy smear campaign. John Blake, CNN, "Socialism appeals to many black voters. But that's not helping Bernie. Here's why," 10 Mar. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Virus fears also affected the joyful Indian celebration of Holi, in which Hindu revelers celebrate the arrival of spring with bursts of color, including bright powders smeared on faces. John Leicester, BostonGlobe.com, "‘This is not a drill’: WHO urges the world to fight virus," 5 Mar. 2020 Celebrate the day by throwing dry powder, smearing wet paste and squirting colored water on family and friends. Brandi Addison, Dallas News, "Things to do in Frisco: Dr. Seuss’ birthday, princess breakfast, U.S. women’s soccer team," 27 Feb. 2020 Jenner shared a video of her last month smearing a liquid lipstick all over her lips and giggling with glee. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner's Next Cosmetics Collaboration is With Her Daughter Stormi," 2 Jan. 2020 On top of the bullying and abuse, to then go public and have nobody believe you, to be attacked and smeared? Hugh Hart, Fortune, "Whistleblower Cinema Is Back in a Big Way," 16 Dec. 2019 The video in question features Stormi looking in the bathroom mirror with a big smile on her face and mauve lipstick smeared all over her mouth and chin. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Kylie Jenner Shared a Precious Video of Her Daughter Stormi Playing With Her Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kit," 14 Dec. 2019 See your photograph and remember how wet the spit felt smeared across your face. Emi Nietfeld, Longreads, "Self Portrait as a Human Interest Story," 13 Dec. 2019 Soak a portion of a cleaning cloth or paper towel with the remover, then gently dab the stain, taking care not to smear the stain to previously-untouched areas. Natalie Schumann, Country Living, "How to Get Nail Polish out of Your Carpet," 13 Dec. 2019 Laundry rooms throughout Medina will be in use as often as ovens today: Mud covered jerseys, caked cleats, streaked sweatpants, smeared faces. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Meadows Turkey Bowl in Medina raises astounding $390,000 for charity," 28 Nov. 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

30 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Smear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/smear. Accessed 30 Mar. 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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