smash·​mouth | \ ˈsmash-ˌmau̇th How to pronounce smashmouth (audio) \

Definition of smashmouth

: characterized by brute force without finesse smashmouth football

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Did You Know?

Smashmouth crashed its way into the English language during the 1984 football season to describe the brutally hard-hitting play that is characteristic of the game. It has since been used to describe similar physicality in other contact sports, such as hockey and basketball, and has even forced its way out of the realm of sports into politics; we’ve been using it to describe hardball tactics in politics since the 1984 U.S. presidential election. However, this political application of smashmouth has yet to make it into the end zone. It occurs too rarely in English to merit its own sense in the dictionary.

Examples of smashmouth in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

His physicality as a runner sets the tone for Herman’s smashmouth offense, and his touch as a passer keeps defenses out of eight-man boxes. Michael Shapiro,, "Five QBs Whose Performance Will Make-or-Break Their Team's 2019 Season," 9 Aug. 2019 O’Rourke is currently testing whether the nice guy approach can work in a smashmouth political climate. Matt Viser, Town & Country, "Why So Many People Are Betting on Beto O'Rourke," 26 July 2018

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

First Known Use of smashmouth

1975, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near smashmouth

smash in


smashing machine





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Time Traveler for smashmouth

The first known use of smashmouth was in 1975

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


involving a confidence or trust

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