Pronunciation Verb

smear (smears, present participle smearing; past and past participle smeared)

  1. (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.
  2. (transitive) To have a substance smeared on (a surface).
    She smeared her lips with lipstick.
  3. (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.
  4. (intransitive) To become spread by smearing.
    The paint is still wet — don't touch it or it will smear.
  5. (climbing) To climb without using footholds, using the friction from the shoe to stay on the wall.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Noun


  1. A mark made by smearing.
    This detergent cleans windows without leaving smears.
  2. (radio, television, uncountable) Any of various forms of distortion that make a signal harder to see or hear.
    • 1954, Radio & Television News: Radio-electronic engineering section
      In television terms, a certain amount of smear, ringing, and anticipatory overshoot are indigenous to VSB transmission.
    • 1972, Scientific and Technical Aerospace Reports
      Results show the reduction in intelligibility produced by changing the filter condition was much greater than reductions caused by altering smear duration.
  3. (medicine) A Pap smear.
    I'm going to the doctor's this afternoon for a smear.
  4. A false attack.
  5. (climbing) A maneuver in which the shoe is placed onto the holdless rock, and the friction from the shoe keeps it in contact
  6. (music) A rough glissando in jazz music.
Synonyms Translations

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