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See also: sméar




From Middle English smeren, smerien, from Old English smerian, smyrian, smierwan (to anoint or rub with grease, oil, etc.), from Proto-Germanic *smirwijaną. Cognate with Saterland Frisian smeere, Dutch smeren, Low German smeren, German schmieren.



smear (third-person singular simple present smears, present participle smearing, simple past and past participle smeared)

  1. (transitive) To spread (a substance, especially one that colours or is dirty) across a surface by rubbing.
    The artist smeared paint over the canvas in broad strokes.
  2. (transitive) To have a substance smeared on (a surface).
    She smeared her lips with lipstick.
  3. (transitive) To damage someone's reputation by slandering, misrepresenting, or otherwise making false accusations about an individual, their statements, or their actions.
    The opposition party attempted to smear the candidate by spreading incorrect and unverifiable rumors about their personal behavior.
  4. (intransitive) To become spread by smearing.
    The paint is still wet — don't touch it or it will smear.
  5. (climbing) To climb without using footholds, using the friction from the shoe to stay on the wall.


Derived termsEdit



smear (plural smears)

  1. A mark made by smearing.
    This detergent cleans windows without leaving smears.
  2. (medicine) A Pap smear.
    I'm going to the doctor's this afternoon for a smear.
  3. A false attack.
  4. (climbing) A maneuver in which the shoe is placed onto the holdless rock, and the friction from the shoe keeps it in contact
  5. (music) A rough glissando in jazz music.


Derived termsEdit