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 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 At a rally in North Carolina on Wednesday, Trump rattled off a litany of smears against Omar, including falsely painting her as an al-Qaida sympathizer. Nick Woltman, Twin Cities, "Supporters greet Ilhan Omar at MSP Airport as she returns from turbulent week in Washington," 18 July 2019 Her final step is a smear of Carmex lip balm to keep her lips hydrated and smooth overnight. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "Watch Leyna Bloom's Nighttime Skincare Routine," 30 June 2019 Yovanovitch was one of the key witnesses to testify in the House's impeachment inquiry into Trump, telling Congress that she was subjected to a smear campaign based on lies that led to her abrupt removal from Kyiv. NBC News, "Giuliani boasts, then backtracks on some details of engineering Yovanovitch ouster," 17 Dec. 2019 Yovanovitch, 60, a career diplomat and daughter of immigrants who fled the former Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, claimed that she was ousted from her role due to a smear campaign by Trump allies. Fox News, "Giuliani admits role in ousting Ukraine Amb. Yovanovitch, says he has proof Trump impeachment is a 'cover-up'," 17 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Karkutt accused Gay and Cooke of trying to smear Porter and glossing over Cooke’s own criminal history. Cory Shaffer, cleveland.com, "Love triangle beating death lands Euclid man in prison," 28 June 2019 Ackerman McQueen has countersued, claiming the NRA is trying to renege on its financial obligations and smear the public relations firm. Lisa Marie Pane, Anchorage Daily News, "NRA splits with PR firm, lobbyist and TV amid chaos at gun rights organization," 27 June 2019 Unable to justify a lawless, indefensible prosecution on its merits, the State has resorted to trying to smear defense counsel,’’ the lawyers wrote. John R. Ellement, BostonGlobe.com, "Fla. judge declines to hold Robert Kraft’s attorneys in criminal contempt," 14 June 2019 Her lawyer, Gloria Allred, said the defense is trying to smear Lasha. Michael R. Sisak, chicagotribune.com, "On witness stand, accuser calls Bill Cosby a 'serial rapist'," 11 Apr. 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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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

3 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Smear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/smearing. Accessed 16 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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