\ ˈsməg How to pronounce smug (audio) \
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 There is some smug elitist irony in a show that pokes fun at striving for Harvard having premiered at American Repertory Theatre, part of that very campus. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "Broadway review: Simplistic ‘Jagged Little Pill’ makes a mess of Alanis Morissette’s songs," 5 Dec. 2019 Colman is matched by the equally extraordinary Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, restless with her second-tier status, Tobias Menzies as the ever-smug Prince Philip, and the rest of the cast. oregonlive, "TV 2019 best and worst: ‘Succession,’ ‘Misery TV,’ streaming overload, and more," 20 Dec. 2019 As ever, Patriot Nation is smug, arrogant, and oh so satisfied. Dan Shaughnessy, BostonGlobe.com, "Why Bill Belichick and the Patriots fit our self-image," 7 Sep. 2019 In this final sequence, Euphoria finally peels away all its layers of smug, prepare-to-be-shocked pretension and exposes its deeply sincere, teenaged heart. Constance Grady, Vox, "Why Euphoria’s messy season finale could mean great things for the show’s future," 11 Aug. 2019 Said headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, comes to life with smug malevolence thanks to Kevin-Michael Moore, who can distill an incredible amount into a mere flick of his head. oregonlive, "‘Matilda the Musical’ review: Talented cast handles tough story adeptly," 11 Dec. 2019 And often your advice — no matter how well intentioned — can seem smug. Washington Post, "Even with the best advice, people can still mess up," 16 Oct. 2019 There’s a lot of people calling vegans, environmentalists, and people who rescue dogs smug. Adrian Nicole Leblanc, The New Yorker, "Gary Gulman on Comedy and Depression," 19 Oct. 2019 For a government trying to dispel an image of being a bunch of smug, entitled private-school types sleepwalking into national crisis, Rees-Mogg’s air of condescension and disdain has not been helpful. BostonGlobe.com, "LONDON — Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of Britain’s House of Commons and a prominent ally of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, suggested this week that victims of the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire lacked the common sense to defy firefighters’ orders and flee the building, costing them their lives.," 6 Nov. 2019

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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Learn More about smug

Statistics for smug

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Smug.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/smug. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for smug

How to pronounce smug (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of smug

disapproving : having or showing the annoying quality of people who feel very pleased or satisfied with their abilities, achievements, etc.
\ ˈsməg How to pronounce smug (audio) \
smugger; smuggest

Kids Definition of smug

: showing a superior attitude

Other Words from smug

smugly adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on smug

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for smug

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with smug

Spanish Central: Translation of smug

Nglish: Translation of smug for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of smug for Arabic Speakers

Comments on smug

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