smart

adjective
\ˈsmärt \

Definition of smart 

(Entry 1 of 4)

1 : making one smart : causing a sharp stinging

2 : marked by often sharp forceful activity or vigorous strength a smart pull of the starter cord

3 : brisk, spirited a smart pace

4a : mentally alert : bright

b : knowledgeable

c : shrewd a smart investment

5a : witty, clever a smart sitcom

b : rude or impolite in a bold and disrespectful way : pert don't get smart with me

6a : neat, trim soldiers in smart uniforms

b : stylish or elegant in dress or appearance

c(1) : appealing to sophisticated tastes

(2) : characteristic of or patronized by fashionable society

7a : being a guided missile a laser-guided smart bomb

b : operating by automation a smart machine tool

c : using a built-in microprocessor for automatic operation, for processing of data, or for achieving greater versatility a smart card By now we're familiar with smart electricity grids, those IT-enhanced networks that generate and distribute power locally …— Robert Visscher

smart

verb
smarted; smarting; smarts

Definition of smart (Entry 2 of 4)

intransitive verb

1 : to cause or be the cause or seat of a sharp stinging pain also : to feel or have such a pain

2a : to feel or endure distress, remorse, or embarrassment smarting from wounded vanity— W. L. Shirer

b : to pay a heavy or stinging penalty would have to smart for this foolishness

smart

noun

Definition of smart (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : a smarting pain especially : a stinging local pain

2 : poignant grief or remorse was not the sort to get over smarts— Sir Winston Churchill

3 smarts plural, slang : intelligence, know-how

smart

adverb

Definition of smart (Entry 4 of 4)

: in a smart manner : smartly

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Other Words from smart

Adjective

smartly adverb
smartness noun

Examples of smart in a Sentence

Adjective

Poodles are said to be smart dogs. That was a smart investment. He gave her a smart answer.

Verb

Her eyes were smarting from the smoke. the injection only smarted for a moment

Noun

the toddler was whining over the smart from the cut she had the smarts to start college at age 16, but perhaps not the emotional maturity

Adverb

He plays smart and the fans appreciate that. I dress smarter than she does. Play it smart during the contract negotiations and you'll get more vacation time.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Google’s voice assistant is also reportedly smarter than Alexa or Siri, answering questions correctly more of the time. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "Smart speakers are everywhere this holiday season, but they’re really a gift for big tech companies," 27 Nov. 2018 In the long term, if it ... As AI gets probably much smarter than humans, the relative intelligence ratio is probably similar to that between a person and a cat, maybe bigger. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Recode Decode," 2 Nov. 2018 Logical Immune Response Another approach to building cellular cyborgs is using cells that are pretty smart to begin with. Eric Smalley, Discover Magazine, "Cellular Cyborgs: How Programmable DNA Strands Might Control Healing," 25 Sep. 2018 Rick Wilson, a veteran Republican strategist from Tallahassee whose unrelenting criticism of Trump has made him a national celebrity, said Scott is smart to try to distance himself from the president on issues such as the child separation policy. Washington Post, "In Senate race, Florida governor in balancing act with Trump," 13 July 2018 The company is the world’s largest purveyor of the Internet of Things, linking appliances together to create smart homes. Charlie Cambell/beijing, Time, "Lei Jun Wants to Be China’s Answer to Steve Jobs. But Trump’s Trade War Is Getting In His Way," 12 July 2018 So to me this idea of athleisure is a very important, smart one. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "What Does Isaac Mizrahi, Who Showed Bike Shorts Back in 1988, Think of Them Now? Read On . . .," 12 Nov. 2018 Yves Béhar is known for his work on a breadth of home gadgetry, including a smart lock, robotic crib, and tiny Bluetooth speaker. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Yves Béhar debuts a line of prefab homes," 2 Nov. 2018 Instead, feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead is reserved for the smart people who head to bed at 9:30 P.M. every weeknight, while the rest of us chug caffeine and spellcheck every other sentence. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "11 Eye Patches That’ll Make Monday Mornings Look a Little Less Rough," 29 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

For voters still smarting over Merrick Garland, that’s the ultimate motivator. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "The GOP Can’t Win for Losing," 20 Sep. 2018 Let Down in the Valley John Kerry stands up expectant crowds at Sun Valley, already smarting from the no-show status of Bill Gates and Marissa Mayer. Rachel Mosely, Town & Country, "The 1% Daily," 10 July 2014 Dax stays on the sidelines, coaching, still smarting from a wicked block laid down by his rival, Mookie (an off-the-wall Nick Kroll), as a youth. Katie Walsh, latimes.com, "'Uncle Drew' is the surprise comedy of the summer," 28 June 2018 Prediction With Chelsea still smarting after missing out on Champions League qualification, the final may be United's to lose, with the Red Devils in better form currently than their opponents. SI.com, "Chelsea vs Manchester United FA Cup Final Preview: Recent Form, Team News, Prediction & More," 18 May 2018 Not even teammates who are smarting for a first-round elimination to LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, 105-101. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Veteran Al Jefferson: Lack of experience catches up with Pacers but better things to come," 30 Apr. 2018 But Lyons, who was still smarting from the April e-mail, had had enough. Frank Phillips, BostonGlobe.com, "Nasty e-mails, threats, and why two antiabortion candidates are fighting over Charlie Baker," 28 June 2018 Liberals are still smarting from Senate Republicans decision in 2016 to ignore President Barack Obama's third nominee to the Supreme Court — a move that Democratic senators initially thought would backfire politically on the GOP. Seung Min Kim, chicagotribune.com, "Democrats hope Kennedy's retirement will make courts a galvanizing issue for voters," 7 July 2018 That leaves Jimmy Fallon, still smarting from his Trump hair mussing, out in the Emmys cold. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "Sorry, not sorry: The snubs and smart picks of the 2018 Emmy nominations," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The plaudits Sanders gave Obama centered on his smarts and charisma as a candidate. Anne Branigin, The Root, "In Event Honoring MLK, Bernie Sanders’ Comments on Race and Barack Obama Raise Eyebrows," 6 Apr. 2018 Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, and Meryl Streep because of their talent and smarts. Marie Claire, "Jane Fonda Finally Feels Like She Made It," 21 Sep. 2018 The fact the matter is, Donald Trump had real political smarts and shrewdness, a brilliant marketer. Fox News, "Kennedy: Kavanaugh is firm that allegation didn't happen," 18 Sep. 2018 Google’s Chromecast can help bring smarts and streaming to your TV. Alexandria Haslam, PCWorld, "This Google Home Mini and Chromecast bundle is $8 off today at Walmart," 12 Sep. 2018 The Happytime Murders also falls short on good old-fashioned movie smarts. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Happytime Murders tests the limits of subverting nostalgia," 24 Aug. 2018 Felix Hernandez went from teenage super-prospect with a rocket arm to a wily veteran surviving on smarts and sub-90-mph fastballs. Jon Tayler, SI.com, "Robinson Canó​'s Suspension Just the Latest Cruel Twist for the Playoff-Starved Mariners," 15 May 2018 James, who aspires to be a billionaire, someone rich enough to buy an NBA team, respected Johnson’s business chops as much as his basketball smarts. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "How LeBron James Was Courted by the Lakers," 2 July 2018 Carter, who played one season at Duke and also considered playing at Harvard, is known for his classroom smarts. Shannon Ryan, chicagotribune.com, "Former Duke star Wendell Carter Jr.'s right to point out pay hypocrisy of NCAA," 18 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

All this talk about getting smart and standing up to immigrants is a giant con. William Saletan, Slate Magazine, "How Russia exploits American racism and xenophobia for its own gain.," 31 Mar. 2017 Adams, son of the second president, and sixth president himself, was smart, omnivorous, observant, bitchy, and hilarious (though always unintentionally). Nr Symposium, National Review, "It’s Summer, Time to Catch Up on Your Reading — A Symposium," 31 July 2017 Work hard and smart now as this cycle of high dynamics won’t last forever. Jeraldine Saunders, The Mercury News, "Horoscope: March 29, 2017," 29 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'smart.' 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 smart

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for smart

Adjective

Middle English smert causing pain, from Old English smeart; akin to Old English smeortan

Verb

Middle English smerten, from Old English smeortan; akin to Old High German smerzan to pain

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Learn More about smart

Dictionary Entries near smart

smaragdite

smarm

smarmy

smart

Smarta

smart aleck

smart-aleckism

Statistics for smart

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for smart

The first known use of smart was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for smart

smart

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of smart

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: very good at learning or thinking about things

: showing intelligence or good judgment

: behaving or talking in a rude or impolite way : showing a lack of respect for someone

smart

verb

English Language Learners Definition of smart (Entry 2 of 3)

: to feel a sudden sharp pain

: to be upset about something

smart

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of smart (Entry 3 of 3)

: in a smart way

smart

adjective
\ˈsmärt \
smarter; smartest

Kids Definition of smart

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : quick to learn or do : bright smart students

2 : showing good judgment : wise a smart decision

3 : fresh sense 8 “You tryin’ to be smart with me, boy?”— Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Shiloh

4 : stylish and fashionable a smart dresser

5 : brisk sense 1, spirited I was walking at a smart pace.

6 : controlled by computers and able to do things that seem intelligent a smart machine

Other Words from smart

smartly adverb
smartness noun

smart

verb
smarted; smarting

Kids Definition of smart (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to cause or feel a sharp stinging pain My eyes were smarting from the smoke.

2 : to be upset She's still smarting from the criticism.

smart

noun

Kids Definition of smart (Entry 3 of 3)

: a stinging pain usually in one spot

\ˈsmärt \

Medical Definition of smart 

: to cause or be the cause or seat of a sharp poignant pain rapid fatigue with burning and smarting of the conjunctiva— H. G. Armstrong also : to feel or have such a pain

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More from Merriam-Webster on smart

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with smart

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for smart

Spanish Central: Translation of smart

Nglish: Translation of smart for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of smart for Arabic Speakers

Comments on smart

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