Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR SMEAR

The eye could not detect one creature in the group free from the smear of blood.

But it is very improper for such folk to smear themselves with civet.

Or write with a solution of muriate of antimony, and smear the writing over with a feather dipped in a solution of galls.

Fasten each firmly with a small skewer, smear them over with egg, fry them of a fine brown, and pour a rich brown gravy over.

And what's more, I'll use whatever you're trying, to smear you with.

Oh,” said the wolf, “I need some tar to smear my coat so that the dogs cannot catch me.

Oh,” said the fox, “I need some tar to smear my coat so that the dogs cannot catch me.

His face was a smear of blood, venom, and all the bandit passions.

A trail of purple, like a smear of blood on a blue shield, lay over the sea.

He maintained his gravity: “Would you be kind 218 enough to take a smear and let me look?”

WORD ORIGIN

Old English smerian, smierwan "to anoint or rub with grease, oil, etc.," from Proto-Germanic *smerwjan "to spread grease on" (cf. Old Norse smyrja "to anoint, rub with ointment," Danish smøre, Swedish smörja, Dutch smeren, Old High German smirwen "apply salve, smear," German schmieren "to smear;" Old Norse smör "butter"), from PIE *smeru- "grease" (cf. Greek myron "unguent, balsam," Old Irish smi(u)r "marrow," Old English smeoru "fat, grease, ointment, tallow, lard, suet," Lithuanian smarsas "fat").

Figurative sense of "assault a public reputation with unsubstantiated charges" is from 1879. Related: Smeared; smearing. Smear-word, one used regardless of its literal meaning but invested with invective, is from 1938.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR SMEAR

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.