smart·​en ˈsmär-tᵊn How to pronounce smarten (audio)
smartened; smartening ˈsmärt-niŋ How to pronounce smarten (audio)

transitive verb

: to make smart or smarter
especially : spruce
usually used with up

intransitive verb

: to smarten oneself
used with up

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The iSmartgate Pro is a kit that will smarten up your existing garage door opener. Jamie Kim, Good Housekeeping, 15 Nov. 2022 The subtle, pink-hued elixir is housed inside a handsome chiseled glass bottle that is sure to smarten up any home bar. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 8 July 2022 This will not only smarten up the tree but, more importantly, also leave a small, clean wound that will heal more quickly. Washington Post, 7 July 2021 The real question is can NBA owners smarten up and become less greedy and give the finalists more than two months off before the start of a new season. Los Angeles Times, 5 June 2021 Among some of the other ways Kohler is attempting to smarten up your bathroom: ► Smart toilet. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, 12 Jan. 2021 Anecdotally, says Abrahamsen, when looking through more recent pitch decks from other startups to investors, entrepreneurs also appear to be smartening up to the trend. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, 28 Jan. 2020 Made by the same company that creates all sorts of robots to smarten formerly dumb gadgets, this curtain bot is on Kickstarter for $69. Ann Lien, House Beautiful, 4 Nov. 2019 Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Google showed off one of the first steps on the path to smartening up headphones with the Pixel Buds’ real-time translation last year. Vlad Savov, The Verge, 3 Oct. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'smarten.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1782, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of smarten was in 1782

Dictionary Entries Near smarten

Cite this Entry

“Smarten.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


smart·​en ˈsmärt-ᵊn How to pronounce smarten (audio)
smartened; smartening ˈsmärt-niŋ How to pronounce smarten (audio)
: to make smart or smarter
especially : spruce, freshen
smartened themselves for the party
: to make or become more alert or informed
smarten up, before it's too late

More from Merriam-Webster on smarten

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