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 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 Intentional investments in the most vulnerable – while the moral thing – is the financially smart move as inequality hinders economic growth, undermining the strengthening of the nation as a whole. Tracey Ross, Essence, "For Black People, The Country Returning ‘Back To Normal’ Is Not Good Enough," 27 Apr. 2020 For clinicians around the world, UpToDate is essentially Google for medicine, but smarter and based on evidence. Martin Pollak, STAT, "Remembering UpToDate creator Burton (Bud) Rose, the ‘Steve Jobs of medicine’," 25 Apr. 2020 But the Giants made a smart move by passing on Isaiah Simmons to get a left tackle for Daniel Jones. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "NFL Draft 2020: Grading all 32 teams after the first round," 24 Apr. 2020 Carson was very smart; his report cards reflected near-perfect grades. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, "After his 11-year-old son’s death by suicide, Coppell dad builds a village for families in their first hours of loss," 24 Apr. 2020 But this transfer of employees is a smart move for companies, too. Sarah Fielding, Fortune, "Accenture and Verizon lead collaborative effort to help furloughed or layed off workers find a new job," 14 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 But Islamic Jihad, still smarting from the recent fighting, could join in any regional conflict by firing rockets. Joseph Krauss, SFChronicle.com, "Tehran has powerful allies if conflict engulfs region," 4 Jan. 2020 While foreign policy is largely the purview of the executive branch, spending taxpayers’ dollars is a legislative power, and McConnell was still smarting about the aid delay. Philip Elliott, Time, "Why Mitch McConnell Could Be Key In the Trump Impeachment Battle," 26 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 No one has ever complimented Reggie for his smarts, people!! Samantha Highfill, EW.com, "Riverdale recap: Betty and Archie confront their feelings," 30 Apr. 2020 The animals are also notable for their smarts, toughness, and tremendous size. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 3 Apr. 2020 Melody Holt - with her smarts, sass, avant-garde hairdo and speaking timbre like a pop song - is the most magnetic of the cast. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "The story behind Oprah’s Alabama-based reality show," 14 Nov. 2019 Blair, one of six Trent Baalke draft picks who has spent the past three seasons with the current regime, is a starter-quality player who is beloved by the coaching staff for his ability, smarts and versatility. Eric Branch, SFChronicle.com, "49ers would be wise to sign these second-string free agents," 21 Feb. 2020 Ideally, the same sort of cloud-server smarts that allows for near-constant uptime and seamless replication of data could also be put to work automating the deployment and management of these services. Rob Pegoraro, Ars Technica, "“Everything as a service” is coming—but we’re not there quite yet," 10 Sep. 2019 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

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Smart.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/smart. Accessed 25 May. 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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