Definition of slur in English:

slur

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Speak (words) indistinctly so that the sounds run into one another:

    ‘he was slurring his words like a drunk’
    • ‘For the record, when I listened back to my tape of the whole thing, I had indeed been slurring my words.’
    • ‘At the time she had difficulty swallowing, chewing and speaking, often slurring her words.’
    • ‘No - she was pretty sober to be speaking without slurring her words.’
    • ‘Certainly, trouble talking and loss of speech are symptoms of a stroke, and you do seem to be slurring your words.’
    • ‘It's comforting to imagine Malkovich stumbling around, slurring his words.’
    • ‘I have not seen such a drunken shambles for ages - he was really struggling, slurring his words, the lot.’
    • ‘The last few words were slurred together as he spoke them quickly.’
    • ‘Mr Lyons' parents, John and Sheila, visited him in the Bridewell and said he was completely disorientated, swaying and slurring his words.’
    • ‘The words were slurred and indistinct, but after listening to a verse repeated several times, Will made out the words and knew he was right about it being a song.’
    • ‘Jeffries had no idea what was wrong with her daughter as she uncharacteristically stumbled and fell and began to slur her words.’
    • ‘He tried not slurring his words and speaking in his most respectful tone, as he always did.’
    • ‘Family members said the next day he turned up at his Chapel Street flat, slurring his words and acting completely out of character.’
    • ‘It had to be murder, Stuart explained, slurring his words.’
    • ‘My mom started to slur her words and stumble as though she had been drinking.’
    • ‘He was apparently having difficulty typing and was slurring his words while speaking via his computer microphone.’
    • ‘She spoke back to him but her words were slurred with resistance.’
    • ‘I couldn't tell if he was slurring his words because he has such a strong accent, but his face was very red and he was sweating.’
    • ‘It was a deep male voice and the way he slurred his words made him sound drunk.’
    • ‘I mean, just a few hours ago he was here, and now he's not and he won't be here for a long time… ‘I mumbled, sort of slurring my words together.’’
    • ‘He was in no fit state to try and carry out a business discussion - he was slurring his words and had already spilt some of his drink down the front of his sweater.’
    mumble, speak unclearly, garble, stumble over, stammer
    misarticulate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[no object] (of words or speech) be slurred:
      ‘his speech was beginning to slur’
      • ‘Without a drink passing his lips he would, on occasion, find his speech slurring as though he were intoxicated.’
      • ‘The pain was increasing, his speech was slurring and he was stumbling around the garden like a drunk.’
      • ‘‘Sully, about those others - ‘he started, his words slurring, on the edge of sleep.’’
      • ‘She was suddenly aware that her speech was slurring, and Torik was giving her the oddest look.’
      • ‘He was almost all the way through his speech when his words suddenly slurred, he coughed and he appeared to lean on the lectern for support.’
      • ‘His words were slurring horridly now, so I just about couldn't understand them.’
      • ‘‘Bad policy,’ I just managed to say, my words slurring slightly.’
      • ‘They went to speak to him and smelled alcohol, saw his eyes were glazed and his speech slurred.’
      • ‘She took a long swing before speaking, her speech slurred from the amount of drink she's had.’
      • ‘But soon Emma, a pathology and cytology student at Tameside Hospital, started to lose her co-ordination, her speech became slurred and she couldn't concentrate.’
      • ‘She said on April 9 officers on patrol found him sitting in his car, which had a puncture, in London Road, with his speech slurred and eyes glazed.’
      • ‘It was Constable Shipp's evidence, which I accept, that when the plaintiff was in the breathalyzer room, Shipp could smell the odor of alcohol, his face was flushed and red, his eyes glassy and his speech slurred.’
      • ‘Demetrius was back and functioning fine, though sometimes his words slurred, but the doctors were confident the minor speech impediment was temporary.’
      • ‘His gait is still uncertain and his speech slurred.’
      • ‘Close enough to the guests so that they wouldn't wonder why I was missing, but far enough away so that they wouldn't ask why I smelled like vodka or why my words were slurring.’
      • ‘His speech slurs when he is tired and he has gaps in his short-term memory, but mentally he is there.’
      • ‘Pete on the other hand went from bad to worse until his eyes became unfocussed, his speech slurred and his dancing dangerous to passers by.’
      • ‘You graduate in a month,’ a friend of Braiden's from baseball, Matt Nelson, stated, his words slurring.’
      • ‘Her speech was slurring and she was losing the feeling down one side.’
      • ‘Their speech may slur and they may have trouble walking.’
    2. 1.2 Pass over (a fact or aspect) so as to conceal or minimize it:
      ‘essential attributes are being slurred over or ignored’
      • ‘But the lack of good reference books was very real, and because of this the narrative had often to be slurred over, or particular periods skipped.’
      • ‘‘This point is sometimes forgotten, and sometimes slurred over,’ observed Eoghan O Neachtain in 1902.’
  • 2Music
    Perform (a group of two or more notes) legato:

    ‘a group of slurred notes’
    • ‘The wispy guitar line is taken by the bass; Bridget adds many slurred notes into each run, transforming it from rickety to propulsive.’
    • ‘Its song is a rich, clear warble, though it lacks any buzzy or slurred notes.’
    • ‘In either case the two notes will typically be slurred and played with a diminuendo.’
    • ‘If the blues is a single note that is slurred into a different tone, then we have taken the King's English and blued it into our own dialect.’
    • ‘No student could slur over a single note or syllable and get away with it!’
    1. 2.1 Mark (notes) with a slur.
      • ‘The clefs, rests, and expression marks such as slurs and phrasing, even the thickness of the staves, make up a complex pictorial and typographical unity.’
      • ‘This is an ideal variation for students to learn dotted rhythms, finger precision, mordents and slurring, since the third eighth note in each beat sounds best if it is not connected to the next beat.’
      • ‘When he took it the second time, slurring the notes descending, Kyla jumped in and started singing the first verse and took the song from the top.’
  • 3US Make damaging or insulting insinuations or allegations about:

    ‘try and slur the integrity of the police to secure an acquittal’
    • ‘Let me tell you one thing about my classroom - Don't you ever come into it again slurring your insults in my face!’
    • ‘It is insulting and wrong and slurs both the residents and management of the house in question.’

noun

  • 1An insinuation or allegation about someone that is likely to insult them or damage their reputation:

    ‘the comments were a slur on staff at the hospital’
    • ‘And this also makes much more sense than somehow using a racial slur against blacks when talking about someone who's white.’
    • ‘He refused to withdraw his slur against the character of the boat people, or to admit that the alleged events did not take place.’
    • ‘Indeed, they treat such perceptions as a slur on their character.’
    • ‘Would we trust this guy to have at our backs if he can't even take a verbal insult or a racial slur?’
    • ‘A child with coprolalia may blurt out insults, racial slurs or obscenities.’
    • ‘It means that, so long as a slur on an individual's reputation is cast in level terms, it can be justified by reliance on the bare fact of assertions made by others, without any need to make them good.’
    • ‘As a group, we are committed to competing drug-free, and we are extremely disappointed and angry with ill-informed recent comments and innuendo which have cast a slur on our sport, and us as individuals.’
    • ‘Irish officials, while making no public comment on the trial, are said to be privately incensed about the slur on the reputation of one of their most respected and popular colleagues.’
    • ‘It has been a slur on my character and I take that very seriously indeed,’ he said.’
    • ‘The accusations are clearly politically motivated - with the charge of theft being added to cast a slur on Sarath's character.’
    • ‘Now, while I agree with him that, on balance, past deeds against blacks outstrip those against whites this is not sufficient ground to ignore a racial slur against whites.’
    • ‘It was perhaps significant that nobody in the village of that name in the Vale of Leven in West Dunbartonshire complained about a potential slur on their reputation.’
    • ‘King was eight years old when he was slapped by a white woman in a downtown Atlanta department store and insulted with a racial slur.’
    • ‘He claims that Richmond was just an officer that was killed on a mission, and that the slur on his wife is ridiculous.’
    • ‘I strongly feel that what has been written about him in your paper is a slur on his character and an insult to his profession, and that you should apologise to him in writing.’
    • ‘I would never ask anybody to lie and these allegations represent a gross slur on the many tried and trusted employees who continue to work for Angel.’
    • ‘Enemies who are naturally allied against him, when an innocent remark that he makes in class is elevated to the status of a grievous racial slur against the only two black students in his class.’
    • ‘He said this was ‘a very serious slur on the reputation of the council and the 7,500 people who work for it’.’
    • ‘To say that shoppers feel intimidated by them is a slur on their characters.’
    • ‘The father later used a racial slur against the child's stepfather, and was held in contempt for this (as well as for some racial comments about one of the child's dolls).’
    insult, slight, slander, slanderous statement, libel, libellous statement, misrepresentation, defamation, aspersion, calumny, smear
    allegation, imputation, insinuation, innuendo
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A derogatory or insulting term applied to particular group of people:
      ‘a racial slur’
      • ‘This stadium is no better or worse than other sporting venues when it comes to fans using gay slurs.’
      • ‘The courts have consistently held that a hostile environment can include racial slurs and bigotry against all sorts of people.’
      • ‘She was horrified that someone had used her name and e-mail address to post racist slurs in a French online discussion group.’
      • ‘A racial slur was scrawled on a whiteboard on one student's door.’
      • ‘He repeats a tirade of ethnic slurs.’
      • ‘He then testified in court against his friends, saying racial slurs were used in the attack.’
      • ‘The scene in question ends with him turning up before expected, behaving in a threatening manner, and uttering anti-Semitic slurs.’
      • ‘I irrationally wonder whether they will notice our matching wedding bands and mutter a homophobic slur the next time we walk by.’
      • ‘He didn't fess up to the religious slurs in the first one, and it really read like it was written by a press agent.’
      • ‘But a gay slur against a straight player isn't the same thing as detrimental treatment of gay players.’
      • ‘Prosecutors for five years hid the fact that one of their investigators used a racial slur to describe the accused.’
      • ‘Instantly, their bumbling antics transform the movie into a juvenile farce of racist, sexist and homophobic slurs—no, it's not funny.’
  • 2An act of speaking indistinctly so that sounds or words run into one another or a tendency to speak in such a way:

    ‘there was a trace of a slur in his voice’
    • ‘It wasn't until he suggested we go back to his place that I discerned the slur in his voice.’
    • ‘Michael asked, the slur in his voice making it hard to know what he was saying.’
    • ‘As he spoke to her, she heard the distinctive slur in his speech.’
    • ‘There was a twist in the corridor they were approaching, and a distant babble of voices lifted in cheery shouts, loud demands, drunken slurs.’
    • ‘Even though there wasn't the tiniest hint of a slur in his voice, his eyes had a slightly glazed look to them that clued me in to the fact that he was just about smashed.’
    • ‘Julian replied with a definite slur in his voice.’
    • ‘She had developed a very long whine to go along with every slur of words.’
    • ‘Some drunken couple bumps into me, mumbling a drunken slur of words, which I assume to be apologizes.’
    • ‘He must have been aware of the slur in his words, and of the sudden sting in his eyes.’
    • ‘He spoke English with the softest slur, his grammar flawless except for his reliance on the present tense.’
    • ‘I throw some extra slur into the words, and act like I'm just managing not to stagger.’
    • ‘Bridget now noticed his voice had a slight slur to it, was he drunk?’
    • ‘‘Of that I have no doubt,’ he said smoothly, still without a trace of a slur.’
    • ‘He heard his voice slur almost to the point of being unable to understand him.’
    • ‘I heard the first word clearly then the rest of it was a slur.’
    • ‘He spoke sincerely, but with a drunken slur, and I shuddered.’
    • ‘Rafe demanded brashly with just a hint of a slur in his voice.’
    • ‘Andy says that his effort ‘sounds good in a drunken slur.’’
    • ‘Lindsey's voice was annoying as usual with a bit of a slur in it.’
    • ‘Licking her lips she began to slowly speak with a small slur.’
  • 3Music
    A curved line used to show that a group of two or more notes are to be sung to one syllable or played or sung legato.

    • ‘And if that means throwing away Bach's own legato slurs - so be it.’
    • ‘Staccato, legato and two-note slurs appear, with hands together throughout, and songs are in the keys of C and G, with few black keys.’
    • ‘Articulation is critical the pianist must observe and execute staccato notes and slurs with real style, or the piece will fall flat.’
    • ‘A variety of articulations are found in these pieces, including legato, staccato, two-note slurs, tenuti, portatos and accents.’
    • ‘Playful articulation with staccato, legato, slurs and the shape of the rising first-theme melody in C major create a bright and fresh mood.’

Origin

Middle English: originally as noun in sense ‘thin, fluid mud’, later as verb meaning ‘smear, smirch’, ‘disparage (a person)’, ‘gloss over (a fault)’.

Pronunciation:

slur

/sləː/