Definition of slather in English:



[with object]informal
  • 1Spread or smear (a substance) thickly or liberally.

    ‘slather on some tanning lotion’
    • ‘After showering with this mixture, I slather on thick, rich cream for fresh, exfoliated skin.’
    • ‘It's similar to waxing, but with less prep time (just slather it on).’
    • ‘No matter how many lotions and oils we slather on, our elbows, knees and heels are still often resistant to softening.’
    • ‘You can't slather on powder when every grain looks like a boulder on your client's face.’
    • ‘When finished, remove from the fire, slather on the garlic butter, and set aside for five minutes.’
    • ‘But, before you slather on that oil-laden cream or lotion, it's important to understand how the skin functions and to dispel a few myths about moisturizing products to boot.’
    • ‘To rejuvenate them, right before bedtime slather on a generous coat of sesame oil, canola oil, or sunflower oil, suggests Cox.’
    • ‘Most places slather on the mayo, making this fish dish extraordinarily high in fat and calories.’
    • ‘You insert freshly cut limes, slather on the sunscreen and take a large gulp of your intoxicating brew.’
    • ‘For super dry hands, feet and skin. slather on olive oil straight from the bottle.’
    • ‘Also, if you don't already, slather on a body lotion regularly.’
    • ‘Sure, slather white bold italic across a red block; but don't expect to have people referring to you in a graphic design blog thread anytime soon.’
    • ‘Many slather gray mud over their naked skin, giving themselves a wan, ghoulish cast, and they saunter through a surreal panorama punctuated by eccentric installations.’
    • ‘After the hive adventure, I now truly appreciate the effort, from bees and dedicated bee-keepers alike, that goes into the honey I slather on to toast or drizzle over porridge.’
    • ‘Then they slather on antibiotic cream and apply silver-impregnated bandages.’
    smear, daub, plaster, lather, apply, put
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Spread or smear a substance thickly or liberally on.
      ‘scones slathered with clotted cream’
      • ‘Their bread is incredibly good, despite them being a huge chain and all, and slathered with honey garlic butter.’
      • ‘Try it toasted and slathered with honey butter or topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon.’
      • ‘Because her children are not turkey fans, Judith created a Thanksgiving feast focusing on cranberry stuffed pork loin that is slathered with a garlic-onion jam.’
      • ‘Sunday night for dinner I slathered our chicken breasts in mayo!’
      • ‘He also slathers his skis with his own groovy graphics.’
      • ‘It's great slathered with the Carolina mustard sauce.’
      • ‘I laughed when he slathered his slice of bread with butter.’
      spread, rub, daub, slap, smother, plaster, cream, slick
      View synonyms


often slathers
North American
  • A large amount.

    • ‘We had it for tea, toasted for breakfast, and as a foundation for fruit desserts, with fresh or poached berries, poached plums or peaches, and slathers of heavy cream poured over everything.’
    • ‘This unique stone layer runs in an ellipse across France and is also responsible for the best Champagne, Sancerre and a slather of great German wines.’
    • ‘We headed down to the river's edge wearing shorts, swimsuits, life jackets, tennis shoes (no flip-flops allowed), and a generous slather of suntan lotion.’


  • open slather

    • informal Freedom to act without restriction; free rein.

      ‘you've got open slather here, lad—do what you like’
      • ‘‘It's an open slather approach to money being spent by the Government,’ she said.’
      • ‘Host employers have had open slather for a long time and that is challenged by a decision that is both strong and well-reasoned.’
      • ‘The Justice and Electoral Committee came up with that provision because we felt that there should not be open slather, and that there should be some restrictions on the use of that power.’
      • ‘I am not in favour of broad, open slather discussions about homosexuality.’
      • ‘They will then get around it by insisting on open slather for any product delivered digitally.’


Early 19th century: of unknown origin.