smear Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “smear” in the English Dictionary

"smear" in British English

See all translations

smearverb

uk   /smɪər/  us   /smɪr/

smear verb (SPREAD)

[T usually + adv/prep] to ​spread a ​liquid or a ​thicksubstance over a ​surface: The ​children had smeared ​peanutbutter all over the ​sofa. Can you ​explain why the ​front of ​yourcar is smeared withblood?

smear verb (ACCUSE)

[T] to ​publiclyaccuse someone of something ​unpleasant, ​unreasonable, or ​unlikely to be ​true in ​order to ​harmtheirreputation: She ​decided to ​sue for ​libel after the ​newspaper smeared her ​privatelife.

smearnoun [C]

uk   /smɪər/  us   /smɪr/

smear noun [C] (SPREAD)

a ​dirtymark made by ​spreading a ​liquid or a ​thicksubstance over a ​surface: You'd ​look very ​stylish if it wasn't for that smear ofketchup on ​yourshirt.

smear noun [C] (ACCUSING)

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

smear noun [C] (MEDICAL TEST)

UK (also smear test, US pap smear) a ​medicaltest 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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"smear" in American English

See all translations

smearverb

 us   /smɪər/

smear verb (SPREAD)

[T always + adv/prep] to ​spread something ​soft or ​wet over a ​surface: Mom smeared ​peanutbutter and ​grapejelly on ​bagels for ​lunch.

smear verb (ACCUSE)

[T] to ​accuse someone ​publicly with the ​intention of harming the person's ​reputation: He was smeared in the ​newspapers.

smearnoun [C]

 us   /smɪr/

smear noun [C] (ACCUSATION)

an ​accusation made ​publicly with the ​intention of harming a person’s ​reputation: Throughout the ​election he had to ​contend with smears about his ​personallife. She was ​upset by the smear ​tactics used by her ​opponents.

smear noun [C] (SPREAD)

a ​dirtymark on a ​surface made by something ​soft or ​wet: He had a smear of ​paint on his ​shirt.
(Definition of smear from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"smear" in Business English

See all translations

smearverb [T]

uk   us   /smɪər/
to tell lies about someone or something in ​order to ​harm them: Accusations of ​corruption were nothing but a deliberate attempt to smear the ​company and its ​management.

smearnoun [C]

uk   us   /smɪər/
a lie that is told about a ​person or ​organization in ​order to ​harm their ​reputation: They ​dismissed the stories of ​financialmalpractice as an irrelevant smear.
(Definition of smear from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of smear?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day
boarding school

a school where students live and study

Word of the Day

Introducing a new author and a new weekly blog post!
Introducing a new author and a new weekly blog post!
by ,
August 27, 2015
The English language is constantly changing. You know that. But did you know that at Cambridge Dictionaries Online we keep track of the changes? We continually add new words and new meanings to our online dictionary for learners of English. Some of them are new to English entirely (neologisms), and some are new to our

Read More 

hyperpalatable adjective
hyperpalatable adjective
August 24, 2015
describes food with heightened levels of sugar and salt, intended to be extremely appealing In Brazil, where the prevalence of overweight and obese adults has doubled since 1980, crisps, biscuits, energy bars and sugary drinks formulated to be ‘hyper-palatable’ are much more widely eaten than previously.

Read More