Meaning of slur


A slur is an insulting remark. In a political campaign, it’s not unheard of for a candidate to launch a slur at her opponent, though doing so is usually frowned upon.

Slur can also be used as a verb meaning “to insult,” and it has a number of additional meanings as well. To slur one’s speech is to pronounce words in a clumsy, lazy way. In the context of music, to slur is to slide smoothly from one note to another. The word history of slur is hazy, but some scholars have suggested a relationship with a Dutch word meaning “to drag.”

Definitions of slur
  1. verb

    utter indistinctly

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    type of:

    mouth, speak, talk, utter, verbalise, verbalize

    express in speech

  2. verb

    become vague or indistinct


    blur, dim

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    focalise, focalize, focus

    become focussed or come into focus

    efface, obliterate

    remove completely from recognition or memory
    type of:


    become weaker

  3. verb

    play smoothly or legato

    “the pianist
    slurred the most beautiful passage in the sonata”
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    type of:

    play, spiel

    replay (as a melody)

  4. noun

    (music) a curved line spanning notes that are to be played legato

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    (music) a slur over two notes of the same pitch; indicates that the note is to be sustained for their combined time value
    type of:

    musical notation

    (music) notation used by musicians

  5. verb

    speak disparagingly of; e.g., make a racial slur

    “your comments are
    slurring your co-workers”
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    type of:

    denote, refer

    have as a meaning

  6. noun

    a disparaging remark

    “it is difficult for a woman to understand a man’s sensitivity to any
    slur on his virility”


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    ethnic slur

    a slur on someone’s race or language
    type of:

    depreciation, derogation, disparagement

    a communication that belittles somebody or something

  7. noun

    a blemish made by dirt


    blot, daub, smear, smirch, smudge, spot

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    blotch, splodge, splotch

    an irregularly shaped spot
    fingermark, fingerprint

    a smudge made by a (dirty) finger

    a blot made with ink
    type of:

    blemish, defect, mar

    a mark or flaw that spoils the appearance of something (especially on a person’s body)

Word Family

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