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to smear all over; besmear; soil.
to ornament gaudily or excessively.
Historical Examples

The men paint or bedaub their faces and breasts with a kind of red earth.
The Captive in Patagonia Benjamin Franklin Bourne

Against which he prepares to bedaub him, and swears he will do it from the beginning, from Jersey to this day.
Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete Samuel Pepys

With this paste the natives delighted to bedaub their faces.
The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, Volume 2 Hubert Howe Bancroft

Whan a man’s shoe is blackened and bedaub’d with industry, it will procure him such a supply as will make him cheerful.
The Proverbs of Scotland Alexander Hislop

verb (transitive)
to smear all over with something thick, sticky, or dirty
to ornament in a gaudy or vulgar fashion

1550s, from be- + daub (v). Related: Bedaubed; bedaubing.


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  • Bedeck

    to deck out; adorn, especially in a showy or gaudy manner. Historical Examples “It is in bad taste, to say the least, to bedeck the bride in such a ceremony,” she said cuttingly. Louisiana Lou William West Winter Advantage was taken of these presents to bedeck the child in every variety of smartness. Fasting Girls […]

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  • Bedew

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