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smear - definition and synonyms


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verb smear pronunciation in British English /smɪə(r)/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlesmearing
past tensesmeared
past participlesmeared
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  1. 1
    [transitive] to spread a soft or liquid substance on a surface in an untidy way
    She toasted the bread and smeared cream cheese on top.
    be smeared with something: His face was smeared with mud.
  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] if you smear paint, ink, or a similar substance, or if it smears, it spreads accidentally and makes a mess
    The ink tends to smear on shiny paper.
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  3. 3
    [transitive] to make the surface of something dirty by rubbing it
    The glass was so smeared I could hardly see my reflection in it.
  4. 4
    [transitive] to try to damage someones reputation by telling lies about them
    This is a cynical attempt to smear a political rival.


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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