Meaning of SMEAR in English


I. ˈsmi(ə)r, -iə noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English smere, from Old English smeoru; akin to Old Saxon & Old High German smero fat, grease, lard, Old Norse smör, smjör fat, butter, Gothic smairthr fat, smarna dung, Old Irish smir, smiur marrow, Greek smyrid-, smyris powdered emery, myron unguent, perfume



(1) obsolete : a fat oily substance : ointment , grease

(2) : a viscous or sticky substance

b. : a spot made by or as if by an unctuous or adhesive substance : blotch , stain , smudge

2. : material smeared on a surface (as of a microscopic slide or of a culture medium) ; also : a preparation made by smearing material on a surface

a fecal smear

vaginal smear

3. : a partial glaze on pottery produced by vapor or by brushing off the greater part of an applied glaze

4. : a play of a counting card on one's partner's trick

5. : a glissando especially when produced on a trombone


a. : a deliberate and usually unsubstantiated charge or accusation intended to foment distrust or hatred against the person or organization so charged

pleaded calmly that those who expound unpopular doctrine be answered factually instead of by smears — Saul Carson

attack and personal smear in the familiar manner of rumor and innuendo — Harry Conn

b. : smear word

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English smeren, smiren, from Old English smierwan, smerwan, smirwan; akin to Middle Dutch & Middle Low German smeren to grease, salve, anoint, Old High German smirwen, Old Norse smyrva, smyrja to anoint, smör, smjör fat, butter — more at smear I



(1) : to overspread with something unctuous, viscous, or adhesive : daub

the wood looked new, so he smeared it with oil and ashes — Lyle Saxon

lived on bread smeared with lard — C.J.Rolo

(2) : to spread (a substance) over a surface

smeared 10 minims of machine oil on a condenser lens — J.A.Knight

b. : to treat (as a wound) by overspreading with a thick or greasy medication

c. : to treat (as young sheep) with a salve to destroy vermin and mat the fleece


a. : to stain, smudge, or make dirty by or as if by smearing or rubbing : besmirch , sully

the hat … had been smeared with grease and dirt in a minor airplane accident — Henry LaCossitt

b. : to give a quality or appearance to ; specifically : to vilify or blacken the reputation of by applying a debasing or odious epithet or by secretly and maliciously spreading gross charges and imputations

people … whose opinions disagree with his; and whom he has smeared by all sorts of distortions and misrepresentations — Elmer Davis

c. : to obliterate, obscure, blur, blend, or wipe out by or as if by smearing

smeared the end of his cigarette on the tray — Hamilton Basso

smear notes on a trombone


a. : to rush hard (the opposing ball carrier, passer, or kicker of a defensive football team) and throw for a loss

b. : to rout, repulse, or frustrate completely : smother

4. : fatten 1b(2)

5. : to prepare as a smear for microscopic examination : to make a smear of

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.