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smarmy

play
adjective \ˈsmär-mē\

Simple Definition of smarmy

  • : behaving in a way that seems polite, kind, or pleasing but is not genuine or believable

Full Definition of smarmy

smarm·i·ersmarm·i·est

  1. 1 :  revealing or marked by a smug, ingratiating, or false earnestness <a tone of smarmy self-satisfaction — New Yorker>

  2. 2 :  of low sleazy taste or quality <smarmy eroticism>

smarm·i·ly play \-mə-lē\ adverb
smarm·i·ness play \-mē-nəs\ noun

Examples of smarmy

  1. Yes, he's a smarmy know-it-all with the personality of a hall monitor, the kind of guy everyone hides from at a Christmas party. —Bill Simmons, ESPN, 2 Aug. 2004

  2. Norman's attempt at setting the Holly story straight is a well-researched volume in which Holly comes across as a talented, fun-loving guy who carried the torch for a high-school sweetheart with strong religious convictions; who blindly signed over much of his future income to Norman Perry, his smarmy producer and manager; and who endured grueling concert tours of the U.S. and Britain. —Genevieve Stuttaford, Publishers Weekly, 12 Aug.1996

  3. Perhaps not—but Zarrella's absence is giving prime-time exposure to Channel 9 sports backups Drew Soicher, Carol Maloney and Rod Mackey, any of whom is preferable to the main man, whose on-air presence has grown smarmier with each passing year. —Michael Roberts, Denver Westword, 15 Mar. 2001



Origin of smarmy

smarm to gush, slobber


First Known Use: 1924

Rhymes with smarmy


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