One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Smear or cover with a greasy or sticky substance.
dirty, grimy, filthy, unwashed, stained, soiled, smeared, spotted, muddy, dusty, sootyView synonyms
- ‘Occasionally they were besmeared with fat, possibly to give them a bright appearance.’
- ‘All of them had their clothes torn or besmeared with mud.’
- ‘A few of his followers remained with him as he came forward along the way on horseback, the way was besmeared with much blood of men and horses.’
- ‘And let us bathe our hands in blood up to the elbows, and besmear our swords.’
- ‘The grand stone buildings with the engraved inlays and elegantly dressed people shared the same street as the dirt besmeared street urchins who dodged in and out of the traffic.’
Old English bismierwan (see be-, smear).
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