smug

adjective
\ˈsməg \
smugger; smuggest

Definition of smug 

1 : highly self-satisfied

2 : trim or smart in dress : spruce

3 : scrupulously clean, neat, or correct : tidy

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Other Words from smug

smugly adverb
smugness noun

Examples of smug in a Sentence

Meanwhile, supporters are smug and righteous that the person who manages the world's leading stock exchange deserves every million. — Susan Lee, Wall Street Journal, 10 Sept. 2003 Alice Norcross Pratt, a local stay-at-home mom, is portrayed as smug and pious, yet we also see glimmers of her hidden longings. — Elizabeth Graver, New York Times Book Review, 27 May 2001 Once, Roy dared shooters to beat him with a shot between his legs. Now, he no longer passes out such smug invitations. The goalie who transformed the butterfly technique into an art form has humbly decided to keep his skates a little closer together … — Mark Kiszla, ESPN, 28 May 2001 She was tall and beautiful and multilingual and fiercely opinionated. One of her opinions held that the rags that passed for literary magazines on campus were so smug and tame and insular that it was hopeless to even try to reform them; they simply needed to be replaced. — Tom Perrotta, Joe College, 2000 It's OK to celebrate your success, but try not to be too smug about it. You can wipe that smug look off your face.
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Recent Examples on the Web

That’s a bit too smug for my tastes, but perhaps a suitable marketing angle for an artist who has been lauded as the savior of jazz. Ted Gioia, WSJ, "‘Heaven and Earth’ by Kamasi Washington Review: Musical Miracle Worker?," 20 June 2018 The Nation – at least the group that infects social media – is generally a smug and unpleasant clan. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Paul Daugherty: Forget numbers when deciding Billy Hamilton's value to the Cincinnati Reds," 7 July 2018 The tabloids reported on it with a mix of smug derision and hollow lament. Josie Duffy Rice, The Atlantic, "The Gospel According to Pusha T," 12 July 2018 To continue reading this story, TRY IT NOW In court Thursday, the bearded, glass-wearing A’Hearn looked much different than the bald-shaven, smug youth who was arrested in February 2017. Guillermo Contreras, San Antonio Express-News, "S.A. man who carjacked and shot postal worker gets 20 years for crime spree," 12 July 2018 Not enough violence to satisfy Arlo Sabian (Patch Darragh), the smug chief of staff, certainly. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "'The First Purge:' Interesting ideas drown in a bloodbath," 4 July 2018 In other hands the film might have been a smug fable of virtuous hippies—not just tree-huggers but tree-dwellers—versus straight, rigid society. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Leave No Trace’ Review: Love Under Siege," 28 June 2018 Like the charismatic axolotl, this amphibian’s limbs are adorably stubby for its size, and a smug smile constantly plays at the corners of its slimy black mouth. Maya Wei-haas, Smithsonian, "The Adorable Chinese Giant Salamander Is Slithering Toward Extinction," 21 May 2018 In Cape Town, though, this desire translated into dictatorial, smug, and detached behavior, a deep distrust, and even rejection, of solutions that came from the public. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Drought In Post-Apartheid Cape Town: An Interview with Eve Fairbanks," 12 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'smug.' 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 smug

1551, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for smug

probably modification of Low German smuck neat, from Middle Low German, from smucken to dress; akin to Old English smoc smock

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Dictionary Entries near smug

smudgedly

smudge pot

smudger

smug

smuggle

smuggleable

smur

Statistics for smug

Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for smug

The first known use of smug was in 1551

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More Definitions for smug

smug

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of smug

: having or showing the annoying quality of people who feel very pleased or satisfied with their abilities, achievements, etc.

smug

adjective
\ˈsməg \
smugger; smuggest

Kids Definition of smug

: showing a superior attitude

Other Words from smug

smugly adverb

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Comments on smug

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