Slur Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

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Next to bloodshot eyes, a staggering stance, and reeking of alcohol, slurred speech is one of the telltale signs of intoxication, but what does the word slur mean? And does it only pertain to speech? We’ll tell you. 

Read on to get the low down on slur to discover its definition, usage, and more. By the end of this post, you should not only have a better understanding of the word slur but feel comfortable using it in a sentence, too. Are you ready?

Let’s dive in. 

What Is the Definition of Slur?

/ slɜr / /slɜːr/

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary’s word list, the word slur can be defined in the English Language as:

  • To pass over without consideration or to pass over lightly without due mention (in this context, slur is often followed by “over,” for instance, slurred over, slurring over).
  • To pronounce either a word, syllable, etc., indistinctly by reducing, omitting, or combining sounds is usually the result of carelessness or rushed communication (“slurred utterance”)
  • To calumniate, disparage, depreciate or cast aspersions on; a disparaging remark.

The etymology of this word changes when used in reference to music, a slur is a curved line written under or over musical notes. A slur is used to show that the notes must be played in a smooth single syllable or to play without a break, namely, a legato performance. 

Slur, albeit a now archaic definition, can be used to reference a stain, smear, or blemish made from dirt.

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Slur?

By now, you know that our word of the day can refer to an insulting remark or innuendo, a curved line connecting musical notes, and an act of speaking instinctively, but what are the synonyms and antonyms?

To refresh your memory from grade school, a synonym is a word or phrase that has the exact same or nearly the same meaning as another word or phrase. On the flip side, an antonym is a word opposite in meaning to another. 


  • Insult 
  • One-liner
  • Slight
  • Disparage 
  • Be inarticulate 
  • Skin alive
  • Witty remark
  • Dirty dig
  • Zinger
  • Talk under your breath
  • Say to oneself 
  • Put down
  • Epithet
  • Twist around
  • Tinker with
  • Speak indistinctly 
  • Hidden meaning
  • Dig
  • Insulting remark
  • Smirch 
  • Speak unclearly
  • Kick in the teeth
  • Telltale sign
  • Knock
  • Tamper with
  • Hit where one lives
  • Diss
  • Stumble over
  • Smart remark
  • Smear
  • Slap in the face
  • Black eye
  • Bar sinister
  • Aspersion
  • Cutting remark
  • Innuendo
  • Cut to the quick
  • Slanderous statement 
  • Defamation
  • Dump on
  • Smirch 
  • Insinuation
  • Libelous statement
  • Allegation
  • Teardown
  • Slander
  • Put down
  • Blot on the escutcheon
  • Misrepresentation
  • Vilification 


  • Exaltation
  • Plaudit
  • Side with
  • Adulation
  • Advocate for
  • Approval
  • Translate 
  • Blank
  • Make intelligible
  • Rally around
  • Civil rights
  • Tolerance
  • Leave alone
  • Be on the side of
  • Sobriquet
  • Clear up
  • Nickname 
  • Endorsement
  • Go to bat for
  • Recommendation 
  • Praise
  • Ally oneself with
  • Harmony
  • Pet name
  • Ratification
  • Be in favor of
  • Sanction
  • Defense
  • Term of endearment
  • Rationale
  • Stand up for
  • Remise
  • Alibi
  • Submission
  • Affectionate name

What Are Some Example Sentences That Use Slur?

Now that you understand what slur means, it’s time to practice using it in a sentence. By practicing using it, you will get more comfortable using it in conversation. Quiz yourself to see how many sentences you can conjure up properly using our word of the day. 

Need some help? Check out our sentence examples listed below:

“Any racial slur or ethnic slur made will not be tolerated at this company, not now, nor will it ever be.” 

“As long as I don’t slur the notes, I can play music.”

“The insulting comments were a slur on all the employees.”

“After only a few drinks, Sally started to slur her words.” 

“Just because she’s dutch and not a US citizen, that doesn’t give you the right to use mean slurs.”

“He had been rolling around in the dirt all day and had a slur covering basically his entire face.” 

“The origin of the word slur is a bit cloudy, but it’s thought to have come from low German slurrn (which means to shuffle) and Middle English sloor mud.”

“John didn’t realize it, but his comments were slurring his co-workers.”

“Unfortunately, Mark’s stroke left him with slurred speech, but his communication skills should improve after working with a speech therapist.”

“Don’t smudge my name by calling me a bunch of slurs.”

“I can tell Suzie was drunk because she was slurring her words when she gave me directions to the club down the street.”

“Bob was let go from his role as a manager last Friday because he tweeted racial slurs when he was intoxicated.”

What Are Translations of Slur?

Did you know that there are multiple ways to say the word slur? Yup, it’s true — it depends on the language you say it in. Here are some of the top translations you should know.

Slur when used as a noun:

  • Chinese — 诽谤
  • American English — slur  
  • Brazilian Portuguese — calúnia
  • Korean — 중상
  • European Portuguese — calúnia 
  • Spanish — calumnia 
  • Italian — ingiuria 
  • Japanese — 中傷
  • British English — slur
  • Thai — คำพูดให้ร้าย
  • European Spanish — calumnia 
  • French — insulte 
  • German — Verunglimpfung

Slur when used as a verb:

  • Korean — 불분명하게 말하다보통은 술이 취하거나 아파서
  • European Portuguese — falar vagarosamente 
  • Italian — strascicare 
  • European Spanish — arrastrar las palabras 
  • French — mal articuler 
  • British English — slur
  • American English — slur 
  • Brazilian Portuguese — falar arrastado 
  • Chinese — 含糊地念
  • German — schleppend sprechen
  • Japanese — 不明瞭に話す
  • Spanish — arrastrar las palabras 
  • Thai — พูดไม่ชัด, พูดอ้อแอ้


While the word slur may have a number of definitions, it is most commonly used to harm someone’s reputation by criticizing them. It’s also used when referring to an act of speaking indistinctly so that words run into one another to form messy speech. 


Slur definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary  

SLUR: definition | Cambridge English Dictionary 

The Racial Slur Database | The Racial Slur Database