To daub something is to cover it with a layer of something that sticks to it, like clay or plaster. That leads us to our meanings of "bedaub:"
Literally, to bedaub something is to decorate it way too much, or to smear it all over the place.
Figuratively, to bedaub something is to absolutely heap something on. (You might bedaub someone with praise, or bedaub a speech with awful jokes.)
Part of speech:
(Like “eat,” “try,” and “want,” all transitive verbs do something to an object.
You eat a banana, try a game, and want a new phone.
Likewise, you bedaub something or someone.)
How to use it:
For the literal meaning of smearing something on or going overboard in a tacky way with decoration, talk about bedaubing something with something else: "It's really unsettling to see a toddler's face bedaubed with eye shadow and lipstick."
For the figurative meaning of piling something on in an overdone way, talk about bedaubing someone or something with something: "It was awkward how they kept bedaubing him with praise in the interview." You can also phrase the same ideas in the pattern "bedaubing something on someone or something:" "It was awkward how they kept bedaubing praise on him in the interview."
I love Cracker Barrel, but all those walls bedaubed with country clutter can be a little much to look at.
Sorry, but I couldn't even get through Chapter 1 of this book. Every page was bedaubed with tone-deaf attempts at phonetically transcribed dialect.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "bedaub" means when you can explain it without saying "smear" or "cake on."
Think of a horrible mess you've seen (or maybe one that you made yourself,) and fill in the blanks: "I couldn't look away from the _____ bedaubed with _____."
Example: "I couldn't look away from the cabinet doors bedaubed with chunks of peaches... and peace juice in the shape of baby hands."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, we're sampling questions from Orijinz, an awesome series of games about the origins of words, phrases, and quotes. Click here if you want to check them out. They're compact--perfect for stockings. Just saying. :) Try a question here each day this month, and see the right answer the next day. Have fun!
"Guess the movie [from these quotes]!
'I need to repair my turbo boosters. Are you still using fossil fuels, or have you discovered crystallic fusion?' [Response to ‘I’ve set my laser from stun to kill’:] 'Oh, great. If anyone attacks, we can blink ‘em to death.' 'Gee, I’d better shave! [pulls off mustache]' 'What if Andy gets another dinosaur? A mean one?! I just don’t think I can take that kind of rejection!' 'To infinity and beyond!'”
"The movie is: Toy Story.”
"Guess the phrase!
Origin: From the late 16th century, this phrase refers to being close enough to an archery target to ensure hitting the white center, or bull’s-eye.
Definition: To fire at close range. Also to be direct and blunt."
A Point Well Made:
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam: “As I look at it, the path of science can always wind through the heart. For me, science has always been the path to spiritual enrichment and self-realisation.”
1. The opposite of BEDAUBED is
A. DAZZLED or BLINDED
B. CLEANED or SIMPLIFIED
C. SMUDGED or VILIFIED
2. The rest of the staff rolled their eyes as she walked in yet again bedaubed with _____.
A. excuses for her lateness
B. an absurd amount of makeup
C. boxes of random tacky knickknacks
Answers are below.
To be a sponsor and send your own message to readers of this list, please contact Liesl at Liesl@HiloTutor.com.
Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Today's word, "bedaub," lets you talk about things that are tacky or awkward because they've been overly "done up" or decorated.
But what if you need to talk about something that's tacky, awkward, and in poor taste even before it got bedaubed with anything? You could use our word "t___ry," meaning cheap, showy, and tasteless. (Can you recall it?)
Subscribe to "Make Your Point" for a daily vocabulary boost.