October 16, 2021
Learner's Word of the Day
smear /ˈsmiɚ/ verb
smear
/ˈsmiɚ/
verb
A baby smearing paint on her face
A baby smearing paint on her face
Learner's definition of SMEAR

1 [+ object] : to make (something) dirty by rubbing it with something else

  • The children smeared the window with fingerprints.

2 [+ object] : to spread (something) over a surface

  • She smeared jam on her toast.

  • Butter was smeared all over the counter.

  • The axle was smeared [=covered] with grease.

  • children with paint-smeared faces

3 a [no object] : to spread or drip in an untidy way

  • Her mascara smeared when she cried.

  • The ink smeared [=smudged] when she folded the letter.

3 b [+ object] : to cause (something) to spread or drip in an untidy way

  • Water smeared [=smudged] the ink so I could barely read the letter.

4 [+ object] : to make untrue statements about someone in order to hurt that person's reputation

  • political opponents smearing each other

  • They deliberately tried to smear him by telling lies about his war record.

  • They tried to smear his reputation.

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