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

Definition of outsmart

transitive verb

: to get the better of especially : outwit

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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 The Joe Bob stuff, though, is the best kind of satire — a really intelligent guy (Bloom went to Vanderbilt University on an academic scholarship) acting dumb while simultaneously outsmarting all the people who look down on him. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "What is the meaning of 'redneck'? This unconventional film critic knows the true definition," 21 June 2019 So who will outsmart the competition and win the cash prize? Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "All your burning questions about 'Celebrity Big Brother' with Omarosa, answered," 6 Feb. 2018 Culkin, who famously starred as burglar-outsmarting prankster Kevin McAllister in the ’90s Christmas classic, took to Twitter to share a hilarious photo of what his real-life version of Home Alone looks like these days. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "At Least Macaulay Culkin's Take on the Home Alone Reboot Has a Festive Touch," 8 Aug. 2019 People have been trying to outsmart one another on Internet forums for as long as there have been Internet forums. Anna Wiener, The New Yorker, "The Lonely Work of Moderating Hacker News," 8 Aug. 2019 Many shooters are students whose familiarity with a school’s layout and security could help them outsmart even elaborate safeguards. Justin Pritchard, The Seattle Times, "Firms sell mass-shooting solutions, but can gadgets and hardware save lives?," 2 Oct. 2018 Cybersecurity has become a bigger issue in the NBA over the past few years, and big events like the draft bring a heightened focus on outsmarting hackers, who could use data stolen from teams to place bets on draft picks. ... James Rundle, WSJ, "NBA Strives to Protect Secrets From Hackers," 20 June 2019 The Barber of Seville Cinnabar Theater presents Rossini’s romantic comedy opera about a savvy young woman must outsmart a pompous old lecher who stands between her and her true love. SFChronicle.com, "Theater listings," 18 June 2019 Undoubtedly, any one of them could outsmart Trump at his hateful political game. Dahleen Glanton, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Democratic candidates can debate issues, but only one question matters: Can you beat Donald Trump?," 28 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'outsmart.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of outsmart

1924, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for outsmart

Time Traveler for outsmart

The first known use of outsmart was in 1924

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More Definitions for outsmart


How to pronounce outsmart (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of outsmart

: to defeat or trick (someone) by being more intelligent or clever


out·​smart | \ au̇t-ˈsmärt How to pronounce outsmart (audio) \
outsmarted; outsmarting

Kids Definition of outsmart

: to beat or trick by being more clever than He outsmarted his enemies.

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More from Merriam-Webster on outsmart

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for outsmart

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with outsmart

Spanish Central: Translation of outsmart

Britannica English: Translation of outsmart for Arabic Speakers

Comments on outsmart

What made you want to look up outsmart? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a calculated move

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