smudge

1 of 2

verb

smudged; smudging

transitive verb

1
a
: to make a smudge on
b
: to soil as if by smudging
2
a
: to rub, daub, or wipe in a smeary manner
b
: to make indistinct : blur
smudged the writing
3
: to smoke or protect by means of a smudge

intransitive verb

1
: to make a smudge
2
: to become smudged

smudge

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: a blurry spot or streak
b
: an immaterial stain
cleanse him of every last smudge of improprietyRichard Hanser
c
: an indistinct mass : blur
2
: a smoldering mass placed on the windward side (as to protect from frost)
3
: a bid of four in pitch that if made wins the game
smudgily adverb
smudginess noun
smudgy adjective

Examples of smudge in a Sentence

Verb Don't smudge the picture with your dirty hands! His face was smudged with grease. Noun His hand left a grimy smudge on the wall. the president's spouse must not have the slightest smudge of scandal
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The drawing-paintings are smudged, layered and apparently improvisational. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 16 Feb. 2024 Be careful not to touch the wet eggs, as the colors can smudge. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 6 Feb. 2024 Underneath gorgeous cornrows were eyes smudged with a smoky linker on the lower lash line. Essence, 26 Jan. 2024 In one photo, Bronze looked shocked as his mom snapped his photo, cake smudged across his cheeks. Hannah Sacks, Peoplemag, 17 Jan. 2024 Think frizz, static, flatness, awkward placements, smudging your face makeup and everything in between. Kara Nesvig, Allure, 29 Nov. 2023 In Massachusetts, Indiana, New York, Philadelphia, the shadowy rows of seats, crumpled velvet curtains and decorative wall moldings are irradiated by a central focus that is not an image but a light so bright and uncontainable that its edges are smudged like a ghost. Emily Labarge, New York Times, 21 Nov. 2023 Laura Mercier’s Caviar Stick Eye Shadow comes in moody colors like Dusk, a mauve, and the navy Midnight Blue that can be drawn on lids and smudged out for a smoky eye. Alexander Lobrano Roxanne Fequiere Laura Bannister Jameson Montgomery Caitie Kelly Megan O’Sullivan, New York Times, 14 Dec. 2023 But smudged on the eye sockets was a glittery powder. Kc Baker, Peoplemag, 29 Nov. 2023
Noun
Though prone to showing fingerprints and smudges, chrome elements add a touch of elegance, dancing across the dashboard and center console and extending to the doors. Kyle Edward, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 The penguins’ guano–aka bird poop–showed up on satellite imagery as a series of dark smudges and allowed researchers to zero in on these new breeding sites. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 25 Jan. 2024 If that's not enough to remove stains or smudges, consider other cleaning methods that won't damage the band. Nafeesah Allen, Better Homes & Gardens, 30 Nov. 2023 Size: 22 oz | Use: Cleans, shines, and protects stainless steel surfaces from smudges | Scented? Cai Cramer, Peoplemag, 3 Feb. 2024 The smudge root, bright blonde ends, and done-but-not done texture makes the entire style look perfectly lived-in. Kara Nesvig, Allure, 31 Jan. 2024 That’s when a Vulcan, dressed a red costume and a giant smile, approached and gave her a hug and a smudge. Molly Guthrey, Twin Cities, 27 Jan. 2024 Then Christine surrenders to the warm grass and is brought up short by a smudge of pink that is and isn’t the dead Vivian. Joanna Biggs, Harper's Magazine, 10 Jan. 2024 The bass is more of a presence than a proper line, burning in smudge pots somewhere nearby. Pitchfork, 7 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'smudge.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English smogen

First Known Use

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

circa 1774, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of smudge was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near smudge

Cite this Entry

“Smudge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/smudge. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

smudge

1 of 2 verb
smudged; smudging
1
a
: to make a smudge on
b
: to soil as if by smudging
2
: to make a smudge
a chalk that does not smudge
3
: to become smudged
charcoal drawings smudge easily

smudge

2 of 2 noun
1
a
: a blurry spot or streak : smear
2
: a fire made to smoke (as for protecting fruit from frost)
smudgy adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on smudge

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