smear - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

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English definition of “smear”

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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)
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