: smarmy language or behavior

Examples of smarm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That barreling is assisted mightily by the two male characters in the narrative, who take turns maximizing smarm and misogyny. David John Chávez, The Mercury News, 13 Mar. 2024 Occasionally, these DMs teeter dangerously on the edge of smarm, like a small orange card, taped to a light pole, with a handwritten insistence: But usually, whether ephemeral guerrilla art, stern warnings or idle musings, the messages have a similar effect. Dodai Stewart, New York Times, 26 June 2023 For at least some of the writers working in their employ, especially at Gawker, this was not merely a business rivalry but an ideological battle: irony vs. earnestness, criticism vs. civility, snark vs. smarm. Max Read, Washington Post, 21 Apr. 2023 Instead of revealing the swagger of Sinatra or the self-torment of Marlon Brando or the wiliness of Jack Nicholson or the smarm of Leonardo DiCaprio, he’s subdued himself while more confident performers, such as Corrin and Pugh, snatch the spotlight. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 22 Oct. 2022 So precise, so meticulously sensitive to the details, to the cadence and lingo of that podcast, his conversation with two sycophantic guests (played with pitch-perfect smarm by Jeremy Levick and Rajat Suresh) is a master class in sounding absolutely earth-shattering while saying precisely nothing. New York Times, 17 Dec. 2021 And if Black isn’t available for this brief, dismissive cameo, call up Brett Gelman, whose facial hair and smarm are practically unparalleled. Roxana Hadadi, Vulture, 16 Sep. 2022 The issue is how to ensure the audience’s belief that the 12-year-old Adam Reed (Walker Scobell) could grow up into a future-self played by Ryan Reynolds, a problem solved by forcing the actor’s trademark smarm into the mouth of an innocent child. Charles Bramesco, Vulture, 23 Mar. 2022 Fletch is also now embodied by a wisecracking Jon Hamm — also miscast (Bob Odenkirk would make a great Fletch) — who leans more naturally into the one-liners than Chase while exuding his usual mix of smarm and charm. Odie Henderson, BostonGlobe.com, 14 Sep. 2022

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

Word History


back-formation from smarmy

First Known Use

1937, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of smarm was in 1937

Dictionary Entries Near smarm

Cite this Entry

“Smarm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/smarm. Accessed 30 May. 2024.

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