from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To pronounce indistinctly.
  • transitive v. To talk about disparagingly or insultingly.
  • transitive v. To pass over lightly or carelessly; treat without due consideration.
  • transitive v. Music To glide over (a series of notes) smoothly without a break.
  • transitive v. Music To mark with a slur.
  • transitive v. Printing To blur or smear.
  • n. A disparaging remark; an aspersion.
  • n. A slurred utterance or sound.
  • n. Music A curved line connecting notes on a score to indicate that they are to be played or sung legato.
  • n. Music A passage played or sung in this manner.
  • n. Printing A smeared or blurred impression.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An insult or slight.
  • n. A set of notes that are played legato, without separate articulation.
  • n. The symbol indicating a legato passage, written as an arc over the slurred notes (not to be confused with a tie).
  • n. A trick or deception.
  • n. In knitting machines, a device for depressing the sinkers successively by passing over them.
  • v. To insult or slight.
  • v. To run together; to articulate poorly.
  • v. To play legato or without separate articulation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A mark or stain; hence, a slight reproach or disgrace; a stigma; a reproachful intimation; an innuendo.
  • n. A trick played upon a person; an imposition.
  • n. A mark, thus [⌢ or ⌣], connecting notes that are to be sung to the same syllable, or made in one continued breath of a wind instrument, or with one stroke of a bow; a tie; a sign of legato.
  • n. In knitting machines, a contrivance for depressing the sinkers successively by passing over them.
  • transitive v. To soil; to sully; to contaminate; to disgrace.
  • transitive v. To disparage; to traduce.
  • transitive v. To cover over; to disguise; to conceal; to pass over lightly or with little notice.
  • transitive v. To cheat, as by sliding a die; to trick.
  • transitive v. To pronounce indistinctly.
  • transitive v. To sing or perform in a smooth, gliding style; to connect smoothly in performing, as several notes or tones.
  • transitive v. To blur or double, as an impression from type; to mackle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To smear; soil by smearing with something; sully; contaminate; pollute; tarnish: often with over.
  • To disparage by insinuation or innuendo; depreciate; calumniate; traduce; asperse; speak slightingly of.
  • To pass lightly (over or through); treat lightly or slightingly; make little of: commonly with over.
  • To cheat, originally by slipping or sliding a die in a particular way: an old gambling term; hence, to trick or cheat in general.
  • To do (anything) in a careless manner; render obscure or indistinct by running together, as words in speaking.
  • 6, In music, to sing (two or more tones) to a single syllable, or perform in a legato manner. See slur, n., 4.
  • In printing, to blur or double, as an impression from type; mackle.
  • To slide; be moved or dragged along in a shuffling, negligent way.
  • To practise cheating by slipping a die out of the box so as not to let it turn; hence, to cheat in any way.
  • In music, to apply a slur to two or more notes.
  • n. A mark or stain; a smear; hence, figuratively, a slight occasion of reproach.
  • n. A disparaging or slighting remark; an insinuation; an innuendo: as, he could never speak of him without a slur.
  • n. A trick; a cheat. See slur, intransitive verb, 2.
  • n. In vocal music, the combination of two or more tones of the music sung to a single syllable.
  • n. In musical notation, a curved mark connecting two or more notes that are to be performed to a single syllable, or without break.
  • n. . A slide or glide.
  • n. In printing, a blurred or doubled impression caused by a shake or uneven motion in the sheet.
  • n. In a knitting-machine, mechanism which travels on a bar called the slur-bar, and depresses the jack-sinkers in succession, sinking a loop of thread between every pair of needles.
  • n. Mud; especially, thin, washy mud.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. play smoothly or legato
  • n. a blemish made by dirt
  • v. become vague or indistinct
  • n. a disparaging remark
  • v. utter indistinctly
  • n. (music) a curved line spanning notes that are to be played legato
  • v. speak disparagingly of; e.g., make a racial slur


Probably from Middle English sloor, mud.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English slore. Compare Old Norse slóðra ("to drag oneself along"). Cognate with Middle Low German sluren ("to trail in mud"). Related to dialect Norwegian sløra ("to be careless, to scamp, dawdle"), Danish sløre ("to wobble, be loose") (especially for wheels). (Wiktionary)



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