\ ˈsməj How to pronounce smudge (audio) \
smudged; smudging

Definition of smudge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to make a smudge on
b : to soil as if by smudging
2a : 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



Definition of smudge (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a blurry spot or streak
b : an immaterial stain cleanse him of every last smudge of impropriety— Richard 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

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Other Words from smudge


smudgily \ ˈsmə-​jə-​lē How to pronounce smudge (audio) \ adverb
smudginess \ ˈsmə-​jē-​nəs How to pronounce smudge (audio) \ noun
smudgy \ ˈsmə-​jē How to pronounce smudge (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for smudge

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In many places, priests smudge a cross on the forehead of the faithful, in a sign of repentance, but the Vatican guidelines indicate sprinkling instead. Nicole Winfield, Star Tribune, "Pope celebrates pandemic-aware Ash Wednesday at Vatican," 17 Feb. 2021 Laminating your card will prevent anyone from entering subsequent vaccinations on your card as the following tweet warned: Additionally, the lamination process could smudge or smear the ink on your Covid-19 vaccine record card. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, "Should You Get Your Covid-19 Vaccination Card Laminated? How To Protect It," 10 Apr. 2021 The Grace & Gratitude Box includes a non-toxic cleansing candle and smudge spray containing 100% essential oil blends. Jennifer "jay" Palumbo, Forbes, "How One Pussycat Doll Wants To Help Others Reclaim Their Mental Health," 10 Mar. 2021 Remove skewers and smudge over the holes with your finger to smooth the tops. Lisa Ruland, Bon Appétit, "If You Love Reese's, You'll Go Wild For Buckeyes," 12 Feb. 2021 The Anon lenses have anti-fog and smudge coatings to keep your vision clear. Popular Science, "Best snowboard goggles: Stay protected on the slopes," 23 Feb. 2021 Then the actress uses a slim, pointed eye blending brush to smudge out the liner. Kaitlyn Frey,, "Courteney Cox Shares the Quick 5-Minute Makeup Routine She Learned Because She's 'Always Late'," 22 Feb. 2021 The solution is to seek out a product that simply won't smudge, also known as waterproof mascara. Tatjana Freund, Marie Claire, "The Best Eye Makeup for Hooded Eyes, According to a Makeup Artist," 9 Feb. 2021 On set, she has been inspired by small hacks: a face mask designed to not smudge her makeup, the know-how of an on-site Covid-19 compliance officer. New York Times, "Lilly Singh’s Week: Pixar’s ‘Soul’ and ’90s Bollywood," 5 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The evidence against her at trial included blood found in the master bedroom and a syringe that prosecutors argued had Jane Dorotik’s fingerprint on it along with smudge of her husband’s blood. Greg Moran, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Defense: New findings show evidence against Valley Center woman in decades-old murder case is unreliable," 19 Apr. 2021 Items in this last designation could have some defect as a result of an error in the manufacturing process, or perhaps a smudge by the previous owner. George Anderson, Forbes, "Nike Refurbished Gets More Mileage Out Of Used Sneakers," 21 Apr. 2021 This is the version where every frame has a squint, smudge and, occasionally, a leech taking advantage of the tab left open with room service. Philip Elliott, Time, "Hunter Biden On Making His Own Crack, Living with His Dealer and His Family’s Effort to Keep Him Alive," 6 Apr. 2021 Just as Desireé, too, began to give up, the skipper of a commercial sportfishing boat spotted an orange smudge bobbing in the water through his binoculars. oregonlive, "35 years ago, boaters saved girl, 9, after her entire family dies at sea; now, they meet again," 13 Mar. 2021 Priming mascara conditions the lashes, so your traditional mascaras will stay clump and smudge-free throughout the day. Sydney Poe,, "The best cheap mascara," 14 Apr. 2021 In other words, in an image that shows a beer bottle, even if the face of the person drinking it is a pink smudge, the bottle itself remains intact. Will Knight, Wired, "Researchers Blur Faces That Launched a Thousand Algorithms," 15 Mar. 2021 Just as Desireé, too, began to give up, the skipper of a commercial sportfishing boat spotted an orange smudge bobbing in the water through his binoculars. oregonlive, "35 years ago, boaters saved girl, 9, after her entire family dies at sea; now, they meet again," 13 Mar. 2021 But, five days after arriving, Loftus drew an arrow in her diary that pointed to a smudge on the page. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "How Elizabeth Loftus Changed the Meaning of Memory," 29 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'smudge.' 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 smudge


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


circa 1774, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for smudge


Middle English smogen

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Time Traveler for smudge

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for smudge

Last Updated

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Smudge.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for smudge



English Language Learners Definition of smudge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make a dirty mark, spot, streak, etc., on (something)
: to become blurry and unclear by being touched or rubbed
: to make (something) blurry or unclear by touching or rubbing it



English Language Learners Definition of smudge (Entry 2 of 2)

: a dirty mark, spot, streak, etc.


\ ˈsməj How to pronounce smudge (audio) \

Kids Definition of smudge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a blurred spot or streak : smear
2 : a smoky fire (as to drive away mosquitoes)


smudged; smudging

Kids Definition of smudge (Entry 2 of 2)

: to soil or blur by rubbing or smearing

More from Merriam-Webster on smudge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for smudge

Nglish: Translation of smudge for Spanish Speakers

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