out·​smart ˌau̇t-ˈsmärt How to pronounce outsmart (audio)
outsmarted; outsmarting; outsmarts

transitive verb

: to get the better of
especially : outwit

Examples of outsmart in a Sentence

The government must gather large amounts of information in order to outsmart its enemies. an inexpensive security system that would likely be outsmarted by anyone with a serious interest in circumventing it
Recent Examples on the Web Sometimes offensive coordinators feel the need to try to outsmart everyone, when a simple sneak would do. Christopher Price, BostonGlobe.com, 18 Sep. 2023 Like Wendy, Taylor yearns to give back after more than proving their worth at making piles of money by outsmarting others. Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 27 Oct. 2023 Here, experts offer their best tips for outsmarting the impulse. Amara Amaryah, SELF, 16 Oct. 2023 If Putin outsmarts us on the battlefield and mounts a counter-offensive . . . David Remnick, The New Yorker, 3 Oct. 2023 And the scientist also has said the birds are outsmarting us. Chris Klimek, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Sep. 2023 The endpoint of this intelligence explosion could be a superintelligence: a godlike AI that outsmarts us the way humans often outsmart insects. Time, 20 July 2023 Kids also outsmart their parents and sometimes lie to or disobey them. Common Sense Media, Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2023 Teams of four will compete, drive, run, eat, think and outsmart each other to the finish line. Sam Boyer, cleveland, 11 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'outsmart.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1924, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of outsmart was in 1924

Dictionary Entries Near outsmart

Cite this Entry

“Outsmart.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outsmart. Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


out·​smart (ˈ)au̇t-ˈsmärt How to pronounce outsmart (audio)
: outwit

More from Merriam-Webster on outsmart

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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