\ 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 smudgily (audio) \ adverb
smudginess \ ˈsmə-​jē-​nəs How to pronounce smudginess (audio) \ noun
smudgy \ ˈsmə-​jē How to pronounce smudgy (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 And still Robinson sat, a blank look on a face smudged with eye black. Colleen Kane,, "Bears fail completely, from missed throws to drops to a last-minute muff: ‘It is heartbreaking and crushing to this locker room'," 3 Nov. 2019 Strickland squeezed her eyes shut, wetness smudging her mascara. Lizzie Presser, ProPublica, "When Medical Debt Collectors Decide Who Gets Arrested," 16 Oct. 2019 The dramatically black formula is not only super buildable, but also won’t smudge or flake. Braelyn Wood,, "This Hourglass Mascara is Part of Emilia Clarke’s Trick to Getting Long, Voluminous Lashes," 10 Oct. 2019 Schnatter rose, a cross smudged on his forehead signaling the beginning of Lent., "This is Part 6 of "Case Closed."," 28 Sep. 2019 On Wednesday, the New York debut of Gabe Stone Shayer in the same role was impressive: less gleeful, with a touch more menace, only smudging minor details in the death scene. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "4 Buzzy ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Debuts, 1 Fainthearted Production," 15 June 2018 Many sport smudged eye black on their cheeks and wear necklaces made of plastic dog bones in honor of the team’s mascot, a bull mastiff named Chomps. Charlotte Wilder,, "A Desperate Hope in Cleveland," 8 Sep. 2019 Our tablecloth was smudged; so were the murals of old Aleppo on the walls. Vivian Yee, New York Times, "What ‘Victory’ Looks Like: A Journey Through Shattered Syria," 20 Aug. 2019 An empty plate brought for sharing appetizers was smudged with debris on the side and had to be sent back. Michael Mayo,, "Review: Hot and bothered at Black Rock in Fort Lauderdale, home of DIY steaks and mystery drink prices," 11 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Looking north from Bloomberg’s office to the far side of Sydney Harbour, the normally sparkling blue water was a barely discernible smudge. David Fickling | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Bushfires Illuminate the Price of Burning Coal," 11 Nov. 2019 While attending the Poppy Factory’s Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey on November 8, the Duchess of Sussex accidentally left a makeup smudge on a man's jacket. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Meghan Markle’s Makeup Mishap Is All Too Relatable," 8 Nov. 2019 One bad season such as the Red Sox just wrapped up will amount to only a smudge on the team’s long-term financial picture., "One bad season such as the Red Sox just wrapped up will amount to only a smudge on the team’s long-term financial picture.," 30 Sep. 2019 In this case, the leftover products—that oily smudge that was once the test glider—primarily consist of the ionic liquids with which the researchers treated the polymer. Prachi Patel, Scientific American, "Disappearing Plastics Stay Strong in the Shadows and Melt Away in the Sun," 26 Aug. 2019 Makeup artist Nina Park applied Chanel blush along Williams’s cheeks and drew a soft, smoky smudge with Chanel eyeliner. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "The Best and Biggest Hair at the Oscars," 4 Mar. 2018 Unlike others of its kind, FRB 121102 still hasn’t shut up, and in 2017, scientists at last mapped it to a weird little smudge of a dwarf galaxy roughly three billion light-years away. Nadia Drake, National Geographic, "Bizarre radio burst traced back to its origin in deep space," 27 June 2019 Even though nails may feel dry, rushing the drying process can result in unwanted smudges. Katherine Fung, Good Housekeeping, "How to DIY a Spa-Like Pedicure at Home," 27 June 2019 In sleek black stainless, this 48-inch-wide built-in option has tons of storage room, plus a produce preserver and PrintShield finish to keep fingerprint smudges at bay. Carisha Swanson, House Beautiful, "Which Fridge Style Is Right For You?," 9 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for smudge

Last Updated

17 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for smudge

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

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More Definitions for smudge


How to pronounce smudge (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on smudge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for smudge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with smudge

Spanish Central: Translation of smudge

Nglish: Translation of smudge for Spanish Speakers

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