Definition of slather in English:



[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • Spread or smear (a substance) thickly or liberally.

    ‘slather on some tanning lotion’
    ‘biscuits slathered with butter’
    • ‘To rejuvenate them, right before bedtime slather on a generous coat of sesame oil, canola oil, or sunflower oil, suggests Cox.’
    • ‘You insert freshly cut limes, slather on the sunscreen and take a large gulp of your intoxicating brew.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You can't slather on powder when every grain looks like a boulder on your client's face.’
    • ‘After showering with this mixture, I slather on thick, rich cream for fresh, exfoliated skin.’
    • ‘Also, if you don't already, slather on a body lotion regularly.’
    • ‘For super dry hands, feet and skin. slather on olive oil straight from the bottle.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When finished, remove from the fire, slather on the garlic butter, and set aside for five minutes.’
    • ‘Most places slather on the mayo, making this fish dish extraordinarily high in fat and calories.’
    • ‘Then they slather on antibiotic cream and apply silver-impregnated bandages.’
    • ‘It's similar to waxing, but with less prep time (just slather it on).’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘No matter how many lotions and oils we slather on, our elbows, knees and heels are still often resistant to softening.’
    smear, daub, plaster, lather, apply, put
    View synonyms


often slathers
North American
  • A large amount.

    ‘slathers of cream’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘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.’


Early 19th century: of unknown origin.