Whenever you smear something on a surface, you are daubing. Abstract Expressionists may have been able to daub a canvas with paint and sell it for millions, but you probably wouldn’t be so lucky.

Daub can be used as a verb or as a noun, and is derived from the Old French debaur which comes from the Latin dealbare “to whiten.” It is also used to describe the process of covering a surface with an adhesive substance such as plaster, mud or grease. However, in its noun form, it means a smear of something. When you are ordering "a bagel with a smear," you could impress the guy at the deli by asking for "a daub" instead.

Definitions of daub
  1. noun
    an unskillful painting
    see moresee less
    type of:
    painting, picture
    graphic art consisting of an artistic composition made by applying paints to a surface
  2. noun
    a blemish made by dirt
    synonyms: blot, slur, smear, smirch, smudge, spot
    see moresee less
    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)
  3. noun
    material used to daub walls
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a very fine-grained soil that is plastic when moist but hard when fired
  4. verb
    apply to a surface
    daub paint onto the wall”
    cover (a surface) by smearing (a substance) over it
    coat with plaster
    see moresee less
    type of:
    apply, put on
    apply to a surface
  5. verb
    cover (a surface) by smearing (a substance) over it
    daub the ceiling with plaster”
    synonyms: smear
    see moresee less
    smear with blood, as in a hunting initiation rite, where the face of a person is smeared with the blood of the kill
    type of:
    provide with a covering or cause to be covered
  6. verb
    coat with plaster
    daub the wall”
    synonyms: plaster
    see moresee less
    show 5 types...
    hide 5 types...
    cover with two coats of plaster
    apply ornamental plaster to
    apply roughcast to
    plaster with mud
    plaster with mortar
    type of:
    coat, surface
    put a coat on; cover the surface of; furnish with a surface
Word Family