Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “smear”

See all translations

smear

verb uk   /smɪər/ us    /smɪr/

smear verb (SPREAD)

[T usually + adv/prep] to spread a liquid or a thick substance over a surface: The children had smeared peanut butter all over the sofa. Can you explain why the front of your car is smeared with blood?

smear verb (ACCUSE)

[T] to publicly accuse someone of something unpleasant, unreasonable, or unlikely to be true in order to harm their reputation: She decided to sue for libel after the newspaper smeared her private life.

smear

noun [C] uk   /smɪər/ us    /smɪr/

smear noun [C] (SPREAD)

a dirty mark made by spreading a liquid or a thick substance over a surface: You'd look very stylish if it wasn't for that smear of ketchup on your shirt.

smear noun [C] (ACCUSING)

an attempt to harm someone's reputation by publicly accusing them of something that is unpleasant, unreasonable, or unlikely to be true: The prime minister has dismissed the allegations as smears and innuendo. She claims she was the victim of a smear campaign (= repeated attempts to damage her reputation).

smear noun [C] (MEDICAL TEST)

UK ( also smear test, US pap smear) a medical test in which cells from a woman's cervix (= entrance to the womb) are removed and examined to discover if there is any disease
(Definition of smear from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of smear?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “smear” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

piglet

a baby pig

Word of the Day

I won’t tolerate it! Replacing formal words with phrasal verbs.

by Liz Walter,
April 01, 2015
When you are using a language, it is important to understand if a word is formal or informal, so that you can use it in an appropriate way. You might hear people saying dosh for money, or spud for potato, but they wouldn’t write those words in a formal essay. Similarly, a

Read More 

stackin’ p

March 30, 2015
idiom slang earning a lot of money ‘That’s a very generous present.”Yeah, well, she’s stackin’ p, innit?’

Read More