smart

adjective
\ ˈsmärt How to pronounce smart (audio) \

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
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

Synonyms & Antonyms for smart

Synonyms: Adjective

dapper, natty, sharp, snappy, spruce

Synonyms: Verb

ache, hurt, pain

Synonyms: Noun

ache, pain, pang, prick, shoot, sting, stitch, throe, tingle, twinge

Antonyms: Adjective

disheveled (or dishevelled), frowsy (or frowzy), sloppy, slovenly, unkempt

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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

Asprey and Tobias seem like smart people who cite independent research to back up some of their claims. Natalie B. Compton, WIRED, "Inside the Bulletproof Coffee Guy’s New Body-Hacking Gym," 10 July 2019 The food is consistent but also surprises, and diners would be smart to visit regularly to taste Reddy and Strathmann’s newest creations. Daliah Singer, The Know, "Restaurant review: At Spuntino, a meal is something to be savored and shared," 10 July 2019 Proceeding with caution is smart, said Robert T. Brown, president of the Maryland Watermen’s Association. Christine Condon, baltimoresun.com, "Chesapeake Bay's blue crab population is doing well heading into the Fourth of July, report says," 3 July 2019 There’s a lot of smart people well above my pay grade planning the future of the B-1. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "Why the B-1 Bomber Is Such a Badass Plane," 2 July 2019 Brevard County was the nation's space boom town of smart young people. al.com, "The hard-charging space program: Breakthroughs, breakdowns and breakneck," 27 June 2019 Our modern civilization is built on sand: concrete, paved roads, ceramics, metallurgy, petroleum fracking—even the glass on smart phones—all require the humble substance. Paul Salopek, National Geographic, "Inside the deadly world of India’s sand mining mafia," 26 June 2019 Zeigler noted that due to technological improvements over the past 50 years, the space agency was smart to wait to analyze the lunar samples. Fox News, "NASA to open Moon rock samples sealed for 50 years," 26 June 2019 Point is, the new owner has smart hockey people in his employ. Mark Faller, azcentral, "A to-do list for the Arizona Coyotes' new owner Alex Meruelo," 19 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Fans of the women’s team are still smarting over Trump’s earlier treatment of Rapinoe. Ephrat Livni, Quartzy, "Reactions to the US winning the Women’s World Cup for a fourth time," 7 July 2019 The opposition, still smarting at its ejection from office, will pounce at the first sign of failure. The Economist, "The EU must keep its promise to North Macedonia," 12 June 2019 Elodie is clearly still smarting from the rejection, especially since Zoey picked someone else to be her girlfriend. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "R29 Binge Club: Netflix’s Trinkets Recap," 15 June 2019 Jose Mourinho was left smarting after his biggest league defeat in almost six years. SI.com, "Man Utd vs Chelsea Preview: Classic Encounter, Recent Form, Team News & More," 24 Feb. 2018 Europe and Asia are still smarting over the U.S. having beaten them to the 4G finish line. Robert M. Mcdowell, WSJ, "To Boost 5G, Keep the Industry Free," 27 Sep. 2018 Senate Democrats, still smarting from being denied that seat, now argue Trump’s nominee must wait until voters have a say in the midterms. Dana Blanton, Fox News, "Fox News Poll: Jury's out on Kavanaugh, voters want Senate vote before midterms," 13 July 2018 Some voters are still smarting from property-tax hikes by the state this past spring for education, and others are looking ahead to February, when Seattle Public Schools will put its own construction and operations levies on the ballot. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "Seattle property-tax levy to test voters’ generosity toward education," 15 Oct. 2018 Bogle was warned against the dangers of allocating money to smart beta funds. Bloomberg.com, "Balchunas Discusses Bogle’s Smart Beta Warning (Audio)," 12 June 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

She was wowed by his sweetness and his smarts, and by the setting. Vance Muse, Houston Chronicle, "Houston socialite Lynn Wyatt recalls her times hanging out with friend Elton John," 14 June 2019 Cows, for example, produce a lot of body heat, and could easily power their own smart, watch-size health wearables. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Here Comes ‘Smart Dust,’ the Tiny Computers That Pull Power from the Air," 8 Nov. 2018 Not just their smarts and intelligence, but also their skills and personality. Derek Lawrence, EW.com, "How the WWE prepared John Cena to host Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader," 10 June 2019 But press conference bravado won’t fix a defense that lacks smarts and an offense that lacks trust. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, "Kurtenbach: The Warriors have lost their identity, and probably the NBA Finals, too," 8 June 2019 The following season wasn’t much of an improvement; Bannister’s smarts couldn’t help him if his arm wouldn’t cooperate, and his ERA ballooned to 6.34. Ben Lindbergh And Travis Sawchik, SI.com, "How MLB Washout Brian Bannister Became the Red Sox' Pitching Guru," 7 June 2019 One thing is certain: Beckham has the fashion smarts to make even the most polarizing accessory look good. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Somehow Victoria Beckham Makes the Season’s Most Impractical Boots Look Totally Easy," 24 Jan. 2019 The Google Home brings the smarts of the excellent Google Assistant into a sleek smart speaker. Alexandria Haslam, PCWorld, "Best Buy's giving away a free Google Home Mini with a Google Home today," 1 Oct. 2018 That might be premature, as Tunisia has the smarts to slow the tempo of the game and cause trouble. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Five early World Cup upsets that could shape tournament," 7 June 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

14 Jul 2019

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
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

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

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

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