Definition of slather in US English:



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

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


often slathers
North American
  • A large amount.

    ‘slathers of cream’
    • ‘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.’


Early 19th century: of unknown origin.