9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[slur] /slɜr/
verb (used with object), slurred, slurring.
to pass over lightly or without due mention or consideration (often followed by over):
The report slurred over her contribution to the enterprise.
to pronounce (a syllable, word, etc.) indistinctly by combining, reducing, or omitting sounds, as in hurried or careless utterance.
to cast aspersions on; calumniate; disparage; depreciate:
The candidate was viciously slurred by his opponent.
  1. to sing to a single syllable or play without a break (two or more tones of different pitch).
  2. to mark with a slur.
Chiefly British Dialect. to smirch, sully, or stain.
verb (used without object), slurred, slurring.
to read, speak, or sing hurriedly and carelessly.
a slurred utterance or sound.
a disparaging remark or a slight:
quick to take offense at a slur.
a blot or stain, as upon reputation:
a slur on his good name.
  1. the combination of two or more tones of different pitch, sung to a single syllable or played without a break.
  2. a curved mark indicating this.
Printing. a spot that is blurred or unclear as a result of paper, plate, or blanket slippage.
Origin of slur
1595-1605; apparently of multiple orig.; in senses referring to a gliding or smooth transition, compare Low German slurren to shuffle, Dutch sleuren to trail, drag; in senses referring to a smirch or stain, compare Middle Dutch slore (Dutch sloor) sluttish woman
Related forms
unslurred, adjective
1. slight, disregard, gloss. 3. slander, asperse. 8. innuendo, insult, affront. 9. stigma, disgrace.
8. compliment. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for slurred
  • He did not tease her, did not say a word about her slurred speech or sagging face.
  • When he arrived, she was still drunk, but her speech was less slurred than it had been on the phone.
  • Her speech was a little slurred at first, but she got over the impediment.
  • Starts hesitantly, quickly erupts into a cascade of down-slurred dry trills.
  • Many of the symptoms of hypothermia resemble those of a drunken stupor: sleepiness, clumsiness, confusion and even slurred speech.
  • Bartenders, police officers, and hospital workers routinely identify drunks by their slurred speech.
  • Interspersed among normal beats came fast salvos of wide, slurred shapes.
  • The two younger boys learned to walk and talk at a normal age, but they wobbled when they ran and slurred their words.
  • Sometimes her speech gets slurred, as if she's had a stroke.
  • The venom causes extreme nausea, violent vomiting, slurred speech and blurred vision.
British Dictionary definitions for slurred


verb (mainly transitive) slurs, slurring, slurred
(often foll by over) to treat superficially, hastily, or without due deliberation; gloss
(also intransitive) to pronounce or utter (words, etc) indistinctly
to speak disparagingly of or cast aspersions on
(music) to execute (a melodic interval of two or more notes) smoothly, as in legato performance
(also intransitive) to blur or smear
(archaic) to stain or smear; sully
an indistinct sound or utterance
a slighting remark; aspersion
a stain or disgrace, as upon one's reputation; stigma
  1. a performance or execution of a melodic interval of two or more notes in a part
  2. the curved line (⌢ or ⌣) indicating this
a blur or smear
Word Origin
C15: probably from Middle Low German; compare Middle Low German slūren to drag, trail, Middle Dutch sloren, Dutch sleuren
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for slurred



"deliberate slight, disparaging or slighting remark," c.1600, from dialectal slur "thin or fluid mud," from Middle English slore (mid-15c.), cognate with Middle Low German sluren, Middle Dutch sloren "to trail in mud." Related to East Frisian sluren "to go about carelessly," Norwegian slora "to be careless." Literal sense of "a mark, stain, smear" is from 1660s in English. The musical sense (1746) is from the notion of "sliding." Meaning "act or habit of slurring" in speech is from 1882.


c.1600, "smear, soil by smearing," from slur (n.). Meaning "disparage depreciate" is from 1650s. In music, from 1746; of speech, from 1893. Related: Slurred; slurring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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