\ 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 Drinking a full sugar soda is anathema for this group, who are finicky and smug. Mark Kennedy, Detroit Free Press, "‘The Hunt’ is a clunky swipe at a divided US," 12 Mar. 2020 But this isn’t the time to be smug toward those who derided them, Sutton and others said. Jonathan Bullington, The Courier-Journal, "Who was prepared when the coronavirus struck? These folks. What you can learn from them," 27 Mar. 2020 Few exchanges are that obvious, but most are that smug and tiresome. Brian Seibert, New York Times, "Review: Wait, Wait … I Want to Tell You.," 4 Feb. 2020 That’s how brilliantly confounding the director’s high-style exploration of two families — one smug and wealthy, the other broke and wily — is. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, "The best (and worst) movies of 2019," 12 Dec. 2019 USA TODAY Holiday travel season could easily be called the season of smug and ugh at the airport. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "Holiday travel basics for infrequent flyers: 6 things to know if you haven't flown lately," 21 Nov. 2019 And as much crap as the Eagles take from smug music lovers, their output was never less than solid. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Doc's Morning Line: UC Bearcats, Xavier Musketeers have plenty of work to do before March," 4 Feb. 2020 Some cultural critics interpreted the show’s stance as one of smug indifference. Michael Cavna, Washington Post, "Hank Azaria reportedly quitting role as voice of Apu on ‘The Simpsons’," 17 Jan. 2020 Shanahan, after nine seasons as offensive coordinator for four teams (Houston, Washington, Cleveland and Atlanta), had a reputation as a creative, borderline-brilliant play caller … with a smug, know-it-all personality. Ron Kroichick, SFChronicle.com, "Is 49ers’ Kyle Shanahan the coolest coach ever?," 30 Jan. 2020

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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Statistics for smug

Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Smug.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/smug. Accessed 5 Jun. 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

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