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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
References in periodicals archive ?
Smear reading and resolving discrepant results: All the smears were coded before reading by technicians and the results matched.
It's have "Sorcha was very frustrated by the situation of her being refused a smear test.
While Cervical Check - the national cervical screening programme - carries out an estimated 400,000 smear tests, three in 10 women still fail to take advantage of them.
The remaining unstained air-dried smear was Diff-Quik stained.
The posters featured a small boy sitting on the stairs crying and saying: "My mum missed her smear test, now I miss my mum.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) tests that use self-collected vaginal samples are more sensitive than clinically performed Pap smears for detecting precancerous cervical lesions and invasive cervical cancer, a population-based randomized trial conducted in Mexico indicates.
Mother-of-four Laila Saif from Barry owes her life to a smear test.
The importance of Pap smear testing to detect and treat cervical cancer early cannot be over estimated.
Since then, Claire's family has been campaigning for the minimum age limit for cervical smear tests to be dropped.
At my surgery in Erdington, I was told that the wait for a cervical smear result is now up to 16 weeks, instead of the more usual six weeks.
Only women aged 25 and over are invited for smear tests in England, although the minimum age in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is 20.
Cervical cancer can affect anyone and can be devastating as Jade Goody's recent diagnosis has shown, so it is important NEVER to miss a smear.
After excluding 18 samples for various reasons, the results of pot and ZN smears of 63 samples from smear positive (2 of 3 direct smears were positive) and 12 from smear negative (3 of 3 direct smears were negative) patients were analysed.