smooth

1 of 3

adjective

1
a(1)
: having a continuous even surface
(2)
of a curve : being the representation of a function with a continuous first derivative
(3)
: having or being a short even coat of hair
a smooth collie
compare rough, wirehaired
b
: being without hair
c
: glabrous
a smooth leaf
d
: causing no resistance to sliding
2
: free from difficulties or impediments
the smooth course of his life
3
: even and uninterrupted in flow or flight
4
: excessively and often artfully suave : ingratiating
a smooth operator
5
a
: serene, equable
a smooth disposition
6
a
: not sharp or harsh
a smooth sherry
b
: free from lumps
smooth adverb
smoothly adverb
smoothness noun

smooth

2 of 3

verb

smoothed; smoothing; smooths also smoothes

transitive verb

1
: to make smooth
2
a
: to free from what is harsh or disagreeable : polish
smoothed out his style
b
: soothe
3
: to minimize (something, such as a fault) especially in order to allay anger or ill will
his main job is to smooth over the friction that so often arisesBrian Crozier
4
: to free from obstruction or difficulty
conciliation smoothed the way to an agreement
5
a
: to press flat
smoothed down the folds of her dress
b
: to remove expression from (one's face) : compose
6
: to cause to lie evenly and in order : preen
a bird smoothing its feathers
7
: to free (a graph, a collection of data, etc.) from irregularities

intransitive verb

: to become smooth
smoother noun

smooth

3 of 3

noun

1
: a smooth part
2
: the act of smoothing
3
: a smoothing implement
Choose the Right Synonym for smooth

level, flat, plane, even, smooth mean having a surface without bends, curves, or irregularities.

level applies to a horizontal surface that lies on a line parallel with the horizon.

the vast prairies are nearly level

flat applies to a surface devoid of noticeable curvatures, prominences, or depressions.

the work surface must be flat

plane applies to any real or imaginary flat surface in which a straight line between any two points on it lies wholly within that surface.

the plane sides of a crystal

even applies to a surface that is noticeably flat or level or to a line that is observably straight.

trim the hedge so it is even

smooth applies especially to a polished surface free of irregularities.

a smooth skating rink

easy, facile, simple, light, effortless, smooth mean not demanding effort or involving difficulty.

easy is applicable either to persons or things imposing tasks or to activity required by such tasks.

an easy college course

facile often adds to easy the connotation of undue haste or shallowness.

facile answers to complex questions

simple stresses ease in understanding or dealing with because complication is absent.

a simple problem in arithmetic

light stresses freedom from what is burdensome.

a light teaching load

effortless stresses the appearance of ease and usually implies the prior attainment of artistry or expertness.

moving with effortless grace

smooth stresses the absence or removal of all difficulties, hardships, or obstacles.

a smooth ride

suave, urbane, diplomatic, bland, smooth, politic mean pleasantly tactful and well-mannered.

suave suggests a specific ability to deal with others easily and without friction.

a suave public relations coordinator

urbane implies high cultivation and poise coming from wide social experience.

an urbane traveler

diplomatic stresses an ability to deal with ticklish situations tactfully.

a diplomatic negotiator

bland emphasizes mildness of manner and absence of irritating qualities.

a bland master of ceremonies

smooth suggests often a deliberately assumed suavity.

a smooth salesman

politic implies shrewd as well as tactful and suave handling of people.

a cunningly politic manager

Examples of smooth in a Sentence

Adjective They groomed the ski trail so it was smooth. The river rocks had been worn smooth by the water. Whisk the flour into the gravy until it is smooth. The milkshake was smooth and creamy. With the aid of observers, the election process was a smooth one. Our trip was smooth and uneventful. the smooth movements of a swimmer She has a nice, smooth golf swing. His new car has a smooth ride. Our flight was very smooth. Verb He smoothed his tie and headed out the door. The coin's date had been smoothed away over time. Smooth the cream on after your shower. Smooth the wax over the wood before polishing. She smoothed on some moisturizer before she put on her makeup. He smoothed ointment over the cut. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
The smooth, flat tool is easy to maneuver and incorporate into your daily routine. Sophie Dodd, Peoplemag, 22 Feb. 2024 The new inline 6 is engineered to work with the 8-speed auto for smooth, lag-free power delivery, a broad torque band, and an appealing exhaust note, despite the loss of two cylinders. Karl Brauer, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2024 Level 1 emits a light pulse that’s almost imperceptible especially when playing easygoing music like smooth jazz or adult contemporary. Kristin Shaw, Popular Science, 21 Feb. 2024 Take the Gunners to secure another smooth victory in this first leg. Jack McKessy, USA TODAY, 21 Feb. 2024 The film jumps into nature-doc mode when the creature visualizes his ancestral roots in southwest Africa along the Okavango River in the first of many stunning drone shots, this one capturing a hippo herd’s bodies glistening like smooth stones in shallow water. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Feb. 2024 The texture of the rug itself is soft while remaining low pile, laying flat and smooth. Alida Nugent, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Feb. 2024 Right now, shoppers can score the smooth and gentle Evolve Square Neck Bra for a mere $44, which effortlessly pairs with the $94 Evolve Leggings to create your new go-to airport outfit. Merrell Readman, Travel + Leisure, 19 Feb. 2024 The ice stimulates blood circulation and speeds up skin cell turnover, leading to softer, smoother skin. Rebecca Jones, Southern Living, 19 Feb. 2024
Verb
This approach helps smooth the road to change management as teams see achievements firsthand. Sean Thompson, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 The castor oil conditions and smoothes the hair to provide frizz-free results. Rebecca Jones, Southern Living, 19 Feb. 2024 Best Skims Presidents' Day Sales For strong but comfortable compression, reach for the Skims High Waisted Leggings, which smooth and shape your curves under long dresses, skirts, and pants. Annie Blackman, Allure, 8 Feb. 2024 Older Rita is still self-possessed but, as written, there’s a distance that smooths the edges, turns her into a saintly figure and saps the character of the charge that keeps someone married for decades. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Feb. 2024 These earbuds have a slightly larger driver unit (that is, the component that produces sound) than Apple AirPods, which lends to smooth, stereo-quality audio. Olivia Young, Travel + Leisure, 9 Feb. 2024 Some styles feature silicone or foam cups with durable (aka, super sticky) adhesive inside and are designed to smooth and shape the breast while providing some lightweight support. Jessie Quinn, Peoplemag, 2 Feb. 2024 Move from the middle of the section outward, when smoothing the wallpaper with the smoothing tool. Emma Phelps, Southern Living, 29 Jan. 2024 Hydrating Body Wash for Dry Skin This natural, heavily moisturized blend of argan oil from Morocco with extra hydrating body wash ingredients helps your body stay silky and smooth all day long. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 14 Jan. 2024
Noun
Building one of these from a kit comes down to this: pin the parts together, peen over the pin heads, and grind the rough assembly smooth using a random orbit sander. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, 28 Aug. 2023 The Super Peptide Booster is a lightweight serum that smooths and firms skin with a cocktail of ingredients that includes firming orchard stem cells and hydrating peony root extract. Angela Trakoshis, Allure, 11 July 2023 Designed with castor oil for its long-lasting nourishment and ability to soften the lips over time, the formula goes on smooth and features a creamy texture that instantly hydrates lips while depositing light pigment. Jessie Quinn, Peoplemag, 13 Jan. 2024 The suites also have closets to hang clothes and jackets, and complimentary sleepwear smooths the rough edges of long-haul flight—as do the personal minibar and digital monitor for communicating with the flight attendants. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 3 Oct. 2023 The formula glides on smooth and isn’t sticky — an essential component of any lip gloss. Talia Connor, Rolling Stone, 7 Dec. 2023 The non-tacky formula musses the ends of short cuts, sculpts long layers, and smooths flyaways with a cool, semimatte finish. Liana Schaffner, Allure, 21 Sep. 2023 Formulated with pumice and jojoba esters, and boosted AHA/BHA/PHA chemical exfoliants, the scrub grips, polishes and smooths skin. Angela Lei, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 Making that transition smooth is really difficult for a lot of people. Jack Irvin, Peoplemag, 18 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'smooth.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English smothe, from Old English smōth; akin to Old Saxon smōthi smooth

First Known Use

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of smooth was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near smooth

Cite this Entry

“Smooth.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/smooth. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

smooth

1 of 2 adjective
1
a
: having a continuous even surface : not rough
a smooth skin
b
: not hairy
2
: free from obstacles or difficulties
a smooth path
3
: even and uninterrupted in flow or flight
4
: flattering but not truthfully so
a smooth talker
5
a
: calm in manner or behavior : serene
a smooth disposition
6
: not sharp or harsh
a smooth sherry
smoothly adverb
smoothness noun

smooth

2 of 2 verb
1
: to make smooth
smooth the edge of a board
2
a
: to free from what is harsh or disagreeable : polish
smoothed out my style
b
: to make calm : soothe
3
: to make (as a fault) seem of little importance in order to avoid bad feelings
smoothed things over with apologies
4
: to free from trouble or difficulty
smoothed the way for a quick end to the dispute
5
: to press flat
smoothed down the folds of the tablecloth
6
: to cause to lie evenly and in order : preen
smooths down its feathers
smoother noun

Medical Definition

smooth

adjective
: forming or being a colony with a flat shiny surface usually made up of organisms that form no chains or filaments, show characteristic internal changes, and tend toward marked increase in capsule formation and virulence
used of dissociated strains of bacteria
compare rough

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