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

The best categories to shop, according to RetailMeNot’s Shopping & Trends expert Sara Skirboll: toys, tech devices, smart home devices, and TVs. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "Experts Say These Amazon Prime Day Tips Will Score You the Best Deals Ever," 3 July 2018 But Brazil, perhaps, was also smarter, in both the positive and the negative sense of the word. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "Neymar, Brazil Get Last Laugh in Extending Mexico's World Cup Round of 16 Misery," 2 July 2018 In the end, the top priority remains finding a transformative player to build around while also being smart about the future. Manny Navarro, miamiherald, "Has Pat Riley's approach with the Heat changed now that LeBron is headed out west?," 2 July 2018 Moreover, spending heavily on deals might ultimately spark questions about whether the company is being smart with its money. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "AT&T is buying AppNexus, which matches ads to viewers' interests," 25 June 2018 If Lenny’s effusiveness was sometimes hard to bear, plenty of smart people couldn’t get enough of him, including Mike Nichols, Richard Avedon, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, and the young Stephen Sondheim. David Denby, The New Yorker, "Leonard Bernstein Through His Daughter’s Eyes," 16 June 2018 So dumb guys go for dumb girls, and smart guys go for dumb girls? Sauleha Kamal, The Atlantic, "The Character Who Made Me Love Brooklyn Nine-Nine," 12 June 2018 One of her more recent ventures, the 2016 acquisition of Silicon Valley driverless car company Cruise Automation, now looks very smart. John D. Stoll, WSJ, "Tesla’s Musk Needs to Find His Mary Barra," 13 July 2018 If Stoke want a serious push for automatic promotion in their first season in the Championship, then Ritchie would be a very smart signing indeed. SI.com, "Newcastle's Matt Ritchie Open to Stoke City Move on One Condition," 8 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Still smarting from the Republicans’ successful obstruction of then-President Obama’s 2016 pick to replace the late Antonin Scalia, Democrats are especially unwilling to accept business as usual on Supreme Court appointments. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "What are Dems to do about the SupCo?," 27 June 2018 Naturally, Google's probably smarting from the pain of letting Niantic go before that smash hit landed. Julie Muncy, WIRED, "Can Google Really Launch a Viable Videogame Platform?," 7 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In their quest to unpack parrots’ impressive smarts, researchers at the University of Alberta and the University of Lethbridge sourced 98 samples from the University of Lethbridge’s collection of bird brains—one of the largest in the world. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Unique Brain Circuitry Might Explain Why Parrots Are So Smart," 7 July 2018 Maeve's doppelbot is a Geisha madam named Akane (Kikuchi) who shares Maeve's physical skills, smarts and maternal instincts, this time for a young geisha named Sakura (Kiki Sukezane). Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "'Westworld' recap: A trip to Shogun World makes Episode 5 the best this season," 20 May 2018 Corner Ross Cockrell has the same smarts as Bradberry, but with a smaller frame. Jourdan Rodrigue, charlotteobserver, "Last man standing from Panthers' 'shop-hungry' draft knows what must happen next," 14 June 2018 In the aftermath of the storm, Woodley's character must use her smarts and strength to save both herself and her boyfriend when he is left badly injured. Pamela Mcclintock, Billboard, "Box Office: 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Fading Fast, Eyes $28M-$29M Second Weekend," 2 June 2018 In the aftermath of the storm, Woodley's character must use her smarts and strength to save both herself and her boyfriend when he is left badly injured. Pamela Mcclintock, Billboard, "Box Office: 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Fading Fast, Eyes $28M-$29M Second Weekend," 2 June 2018 Prove your smarts before all of the cute royal baby photos flood your newsfeed by taking this regal-themed quiz. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The Royal Christening Quiz You Have to Take Before Prince Louis's Baptism," 8 July 2018 Now their smarts and functionality are available for killer prices. Alexandria Haslam, PCWorld, "Google's original Pixel and Pixel XL phones are discounted by hundreds of dollars now," 6 July 2018 Patient entrepreneurs The Biondi/Birmingham story is equal parts smarts and serendipity. Kathy Flanigan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "In Wisconsin, when life hands you apples, you make elegant ciders. And brandy," 27 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

20 Oct 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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Comments on smart

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