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

  • transitive v. To spread or daub with a sticky, greasy, or dirty substance.
  • transitive v. To apply by spreading or daubing: smeared suntan lotion on my face and arms.
  • transitive v. To stain by or as if by spreading or daubing with a sticky, greasy, or dirty substance.
  • transitive v. To stain or attempt to destroy the reputation of; vilify: political enemies who smeared his name.
  • transitive v. Slang To defeat utterly; smash.
  • intransitive v. To be or become stained or dirtied.
  • n. A mark made by smearing; a spot or blot.
  • n. A substance to be spread on a surface.
  • n. Biology A sample, as of blood or bacterial cells, spread on a slide for microscopic examination or on the surface of a culture medium.
  • n. Vilification or slander.
  • n. A vilifying or slanderous remark.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To spread (a substance, especially one that colours or is dirty) across a surface by rubbing.
  • v. To have a substance smeared on (a surface).
  • v. To damage someone's reputation by slandering, misrepresenting, or otherwise making false accusations about an individual, their statements, or their actions.
  • v. To become spread by smearing.
  • n. A mark made by smearing.
  • n. A Pap smear.
  • n. A false attack.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A fat, oily substance; oinment.
  • n. Hence, a spot made by, or as by, an unctuous or adhesive substance; a blot or blotch; a daub; a stain.
  • transitive v. To overspread with anything unctuous, viscous, or adhesive; to daub.
  • transitive v. To soil in any way; to contaminate; to pollute; to stain morally.
  • transitive v. To smudge, blur, or render indistinct (writing, pictures, etc.).
  • transitive v. to vilify (a person); to damage (a person's reputation), especially falsely or by unfair innuendo, and with malicious intent.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To overspread with ointment; anoint.
  • To overspread thickly, irregularly, or in blotches with anything unctuous, viscous, or adhesive; besmear; daub.
  • To overspread too thickly, especially to the violation of good taste; paint, or otherwise adorn with something applied to a surface, in a way that is overdone or tawdry.
  • To soil; contaminate; pollute.
  • Synonyms To bedaub, begrime.
  • To tarnish, sully.
  • To give a gloss to (pottery or stoneware) without glazing, as by putting a volatile flux or glazing preparation in the kiln or in the saggar with the ware. See smearglaze and smearing.
  • n. Fat; grease; ointment.
  • n. A spot, blotch, or stain made by, or as if by, some unctuous substanee rubbed upon a surface.
  • n. In sugar manufacturing, the technical term for fermentation.
  • n. In pottery, a mixture of glazing materials in water, used for coating articles before they are placed in the saggars of the glazing-furnace.
  • n. The soft, semi-fluid mud of calcium sulphate left in the generators when whiting and sulphuric acid were used to produce carbon-dioxid gas in the manufacture of aërated waters.
  • n. In bacteriology, a preparation of bacteria for microscopical examination made by smearing the organisms upon a slide or cover-glass. Also called spread. See culture.

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

  • v. cover (a surface) by smearing (a substance) over it
  • v. make a smudge on; soil by smudging
  • n. a blemish made by dirt
  • v. charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone
  • v. stain by smearing or daubing with a dirty substance
  • n. slanderous defamation
  • n. an act that brings discredit to the person who does it
  • n. a thin tissue or blood sample spread on a glass slide and stained for cytologic examination and diagnosis under a microscope


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

Middle English smeren, to anoint, from Old English smerian.


  • More like “The smear starts here, constantly recited without any evidence, and when I am refuted, I call the watchdogs ‘vile’ and ’smear machines’ to motivate my braindead viewers/listeners to do what I want them to do.”

    Firedoglake » Late Nite FDL: News, Bitches

  • And the first one we've performed here is what we term smear negative.

    CNN Transcript Jun 1, 2007

  • Putin said he decided to stay away because of what he called a smear campaign against FIFA voters that created doubts about the decision even before it was made.

    World Cup Bid Down To The Wire: Global Leaders, Celebrities Make Their Final Pitch

  • Plus, Rush Limbaugh auctioning off what he calls a smear letter from the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid.

    CNN Transcript Oct 19, 2007

  • This week Regan hit News Corp. with a $100 million lawsuit over what she calls a smear campaign and she makes one particularly explosive charge.

    CNN Transcript Nov 18, 2007

  • Rush Limbaugh now selling what he calls a smear letter from the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for more than $2 million.

    CNN Transcript Oct 19, 2007

  • They want an apology from the Roman Catholic leader for what they call a smear character assassination of the Prophet Mohammed and a smear campaign.

    CNN Transcript Sep 15, 2006

  • She ran Michael Dukakis 'campaign, deploring this late-minute what she call smear and insisting "The L.A. Times" apologize.

    CNN Transcript Oct 3, 2003

  • Executive Outcomes again denied any involvement in Zaire and accused the Department of Foreign Affairs of starting what it called a smear campaign against it.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • The organisation also rejected what it called smear attempts by the

    ANC Daily News Briefing


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  • "In sugar manufacturing, the technical term for fermentation."

    --Cent. Dict.

    October 2, 2012

  • My adjectival use: 'They often use a smear campaign to discredit a politician.'

    October 10, 2011