smart

adjective
\ ˈsmärt How to pronounce smart (audio) \
smarter; smartest

Definition of smart

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : having or showing a high degree of mental ability : intelligent, bright a smart young student a smart decision/investment/idea That wasn't a very smart thing to do. The pursuit of genius or at least being the smartest person in the room continues to tantalize humans.— Lydia Dishman
2a : witty, clever a smart comedy/sitcom
b informal : rude or impolite in a bold and disrespectful way Don't get smart with me.
3a : neat entry 1, trim entry 2 soldiers in smart uniforms
b : stylish or elegant in dress or appearance For this fall, the smartest skirts will feature hemlines that are either quite long or quite short …The New York Times Magazine a member of the smart set
c : appealing to sophisticated tastes : characteristic of or patronized by fashionable society We dined late at the Oasis, possibly the smartest restaurant in town …— Geri Trotta
4a of a weapon : able to be altered in course during flight : 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
5 : marked by often sharp, forceful activity or vigorous strength a smart pull of the starter cord
6 : brisk entry 1, spirited walking at a smart pace
7 : causing a sharp stinging … their softest touch as smart as lizard's stings …— Shakespeare

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for smart

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 There are plenty of options out there, from air guns to .22s, but single-shot rifles are always a smart choice. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, "Teach a New Hunter to Shoot a Rifle More Accurately with a Red-Dot Scope," 21 May 2020 The awards show will be available to watch at 6 p.m. on June 18, on any smart device through YouTube and the event website, sportsawards.azcentral.com. Arizona Republic, "Patrick Mahomes to present top honors at azcentral Sports Awards show," 18 May 2020 Sometimes companies get lucky, are smart about enlisting allies, or make a better mousetrap. Shira Ovide, New York Times, "No, the Best Doesn’t Win," 27 Apr. 2020 No amount of smart people at the [National Institutes of Health] or Harvard or Stanford can outclass an average doctor in Wuhan. Brendan Borrell, Science | AAAS, "New York clinical trial quietly tests heartburn remedy against coronavirus," 26 Apr. 2020 That sounds like a smart way to get in a daily dose of fruit/potassium, IMO. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, "Is It Ever Okay...To Hide Special Treats From Your Roommates in Isolation?," 9 Apr. 2020 While national homeless advocates say using hotel rooms is a smart move, the option has received push back in some other places. Kaitlin Lange, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis plans to move at-risk homeless to hotel to avoid coronavirus outbreaks," 14 May 2020 These are very smart people who were working in the special counsel's office, and in senior levels of the FBI. Catherine Herridge, CBS News, "Attorney General William Barr on Michael Flynn, Obamacare and coronavirus restrictions – Transcript," 12 May 2020 From a brilliant lab, from a very very smart, perhaps brilliant man. David Roth, The New Republic, "The Cancer in the Camera Lens," 1 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Some were still smarting from last year's 21-14 loss to Pickerington Central while some were making post-workout pool plans in 6-foot socially distant shouts. Scott Springer, Cincinnati.com, "State runner-up Elder football back on the field for preliminary OHSAA-approved workouts," 27 May 2020 Schools are already smarting financially from losing out on NCAA Tournament revenues from the winter season. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Can we really expect college football to start on time in the fall? Here's what national experts are saying," 5 May 2020 Most Democratic Senators, still smarting over losing the Scalia seat from Merrick Garland, and understandably so, and concerned about the conservative tilt of the court, and understandably so, were ready to vote against Kavanaugh on the merits. Hope Reese, Longreads, "‘They Were Growing Seedlings…Which Would Sprout To Become Supreme Court Justices’," 18 Dec. 2019 Just about anything with network connectivity belongs to the internet of things, from security cameras and speakers to smart watches and denim jackets. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "The WIRED Guide to the Internet of Things," 10 Feb. 2020 Joe Biden, smarting from a poor performance in Iowa, unleashed on his rivals for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination in a way he's been hesitant to do before. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Biden dings Sanders as a socialist and warns he'll hurt down-ballot races," 5 Feb. 2020 Both parties are smarting from the general election results. The Economist, "The prospects for reviving Northern Ireland’s government," 9 Jan. 2020 Here are this week’s predictions: Davidson (2-5) at Theodore (6-1): Bobcats will be smarting a bit after last week’s loss at No. 2 McGill-Toolen. Ben Thomas | Bthomas@al.com, al, "Coastal Week 9 Predictions: 4 Mobile teams chasing unbeaten seasons," 15 Oct. 2019 The slow start had a Kentucky fan base still smarting from the Tennessee game and a shocking basketball loss to Evansville Tuesday in meltdown mode. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky football pounds its way to 401 rushing yards in win over Vanderbilt," 16 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Now, with Democrats running to deny Trump a second term, on a ticket to be headed by former Vice President Joe Biden, a great debate rages in the party over the extent of Trump's political smarts and acumen. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "After 2016 shock, Democrats scared of their own shadow in facing Trump," 29 Apr. 2020 Under the hood, Apple has stuffed the computing smarts of its flagship 6.1-inch iPhone 11 into the SE's 4.7-inch body, making it arguably the most powerful budget device on the market. Samantha Murphy Kelly, CNN, "The new budget iPhone SE is the right phone for an uncertain time," 25 Apr. 2020 It’s packed full of smarts, as well as being a fount of worthwhile clicks. Chris Stanford, New York Times, "Coronavirus, Antibody Tests, Nova Scotia: Your Monday Briefing," 20 Apr. 2020 Meanwhile, as the seams of the Samos refugee camp burst at the edges, ordinary children demonstrate a level of smarts and resilience beyond their years. Katy Fallon, Fortune, "Europe’s refugee crisis is getting worse—for these children," 1 Feb. 2020 But Donald Trump didn’t come up with those smarts himself. Andrea Bernstein, ProPublica, "Trump Pushed for a Sweetheart Tax Deal on His First Hotel. It’s Cost New York City $410,068,399 and Counting.," 22 Jan. 2020 Two major stereotypes in sports are African-Americans rely mostly on athletic ability and white players get by on their smarts and hard work. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "Steve Nash way more than 'crafty' in becoming one of the game's best ever," 8 May 2020 In Episode 4, the two swear words Michael Jordan thought of when talking about his first impressions of the triangle offense are revealed — but Jackson handled that too because of his smarts and authenticity. Los Angeles Times, "It’s ‘vintage’ Phil Jackson and the Dennis Rodman experience in ‘The Last Dance’," 25 Apr. 2020 But the former real estate mogul and reality TV star, who prides himself on his business smarts, now presides over an economy in which 22 million people last month applied for unemployment benefits, a record high. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Democratic election chances rest on cratering economy," 17 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The sophisticated, ultra-modern interior features smart recessed lighting throughout the first floor, which illuminates and accentuates every intriguing architectural angle. Darla Guillen Gilthorpe, Houston Chronicle, "$5M Lake Houston-area Huffman home features volleyball court, vast acreage," 24 Feb. 2020 The Colorado staff has been smart in moving him up all over the field to get the ball in his hands, even playing him as a Wildcat quarterback at times. Jeff Bailey, The Denver Post, "2020 NFL mock draft — where will CU Buffs WR Laviska Shenault land?," 4 Dec. 2019 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 7

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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Time Traveler for smart

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for smart

Last Updated

1 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Smart.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/smart. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for smart

smart

adjective
How to pronounce smart (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of smart

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: very good at learning or thinking about things
: showing intelligence or good judgment
informal + disapproving : 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 How to pronounce smart (audio) \
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 How to pronounce smart (audio) \

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for smart

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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