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smear campaign (against someone)

a campaign aimed at damaging someone's reputation by making accusations and spreading rumors. The politician's opponents are engaging in a smear campaign against him. Jack started a smear campaign against Tom so that Tom wouldn't get the manager's job.
See also: campaign, smear

smear someone or something with something

1. to spread or rub someone or something with some substance. Bitty smeared Bobby with mud and made him very angry. You should smear that burn with lotion. He smeared himself with grease and ruined his shirt.
2. to damage the reputation of someone or something by spreading serious charges or rumors. He smeared his opponent with all sorts of charges. The speaker smeared the entire city with his criticism.
See also: smear

smear something on(to) someone or something

 and smear something on
to spread or rub something onto someone or something. Judy asked Jeff to smear the sun lotion onto her, and he was very happy to do so. she smeared on the lotion. Jane smeared a little on.
See also: on, smear

smear campaign

An attempt to ruin a reputation by slander or vilification, as in This press agent is well known for starting smear campaigns against her clients' major competitors . This phrase was first recorded in 1938 and uses smear in the sense of "an attempt to discredit" or "slander."
See also: campaign, smear


tv. to defeat someone; to outscore someone. They said they would smear us, but we smeared them.


mod. alcohol or drug intoxicated. I feel sort of smeared. Maybe I should have drunk less.
See also: smear