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)
- (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.
- (transitive) To have a substance smeared on (a surface).
- She smeared her lips with lipstick.
- (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.
- (intransitive) To become spread by smearing.
- The paint is still wet — don't touch it or it will smear.
- (climbing) To climb without using footholds, using the friction from the shoe to stay on the wall.
to spread (a substance)
- Japanese: 塗る (ja) (ぬる, nuru), 塗り付ける (ぬりつける, nuritsukeru)
- Polish: mazać impf, pomazać pf, smarować (pl) impf, posmarować (pl) pf
- Portuguese: lambuzar (pt), untar (pt)
- Quechua: hawiy
- Romanian: badijona (ro)
- Russian: разма́зывать (ru) impf (razmázyvatʹ), разма́зать (ru) pf (razmázatʹ), ма́зать (ru) impf (mázatʹ)
- Serbo-Croatian: mȁzati (sh), мазати
- Spanish: manchar (es), untar (es), embadurnar (es), aplicar (es)
- Turkish: yaymak (tr)
- Yiddish: שמירן (shmirn), פּאַטשקען (patshken)
to spread (a surface) with a substance
to damage someone's reputation by slandering, making false accusations
to become spread by smearing
smear (plural smears)
- A mark made by smearing.
- This detergent cleans windows without leaving smears.
- (medicine) A Pap smear.
- I'm going to the doctor's this afternoon for a smear.
- A false attack.
- (climbing) A maneuver in which the shoe is placed onto the holdless rock, and the friction from the shoe keeps it in contact
- (music) A rough glissando in jazz music.