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From Middle English bismerwen, from Old English besmirwan, besmierwan (to besmear), equivalent to be- +‎ smear. Cognate with Dutch besmeren (to besmear), German beschmieren (to besmear).



besmear (third-person singular simple present besmears, present participle besmearing, simple past and past participle besmeared)

  1. (transitive) To smear over; smear all over; sully.
    • c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. [] The First Part [], part 1, 2nd edition, London: [] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, [], published 1592, OCLC 932920499; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire; London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act I, scene i:
      I long to ſee thee backe returne from thence,
      That I may view theſe milk-white ſteeds of mine.
      All loden with the heads of killed men,
      And from their knees, euen to their hoofes below,
      Beſmer’d with blood, that makes a dainty ſhow.
    • 1734, William Stukeley, Of the Gout, page 57:
      [] carters and coachmen, who make in imitation thereof a composition of grease and tar, with which they besmear the inside of the naves of wheels and the extremitys of the axis upon which they move.
    • 2012 January 26, Jim Vandehei, Mike Allen, “Drudge, conservative media criticize Newt Gingrich”, in Politico[1]:
      His public record is already besmeared with tawdry divorces, []