1

smear

noun \ ˈsmir \
Updated on: 20 Nov 2017

Definition of smear

1 a :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 campaign
  • a smear job

Examples of smear in a Sentence

  1. The blood smear revealed malaria.

Recent Examples of smear from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of smear

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


2

smear

verb

Definition of smear

transitive verb
1 a :to overspread with something unctuous, viscous, or adhesive :daub
  • smeared the paper with glue
b :to spread over a surface
2 a :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

smearer

noun

Examples of smear in a Sentence

  1. The children smeared the window with fingerprints.

  2. She smeared jam on her toast.

  3. Butter was smeared all over the counter.

  4. Her mascara smeared when she cried.

Recent Examples of smear from the Web

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.

First Known Use of smear

before 12th century



SMEAR Defined for English Language Learners

smear

noun

Definition of smear for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of smear for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

smear

verb \ ˈsmir \

Definition of smear for Students

smeared; smearing
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

2

smear

noun

Definition of smear for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

1

smear

noun \ ˈsmi(ə)r \

medical Definition of smear

: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

2

smear

transitive verb

medical Definition of smear

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


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