\ 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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web But being smug about the absence of symptoms is not the only factor that promotes chronic diseases. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, 8 Sep. 2022 The weekend had at the forefront energy without being smug. Hannah Summerhill, ELLE, 26 Aug. 2022 The, the people in charge are very smug about that. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 17 Aug. 2022 While stifling heat besieges the nation this weekend from the desert Southwest to the Northeast, coastal Californians can’t afford to be smug. Los Angeles Times, 23 July 2022 Back around 2014 or so, the smug confidence came from the likes of Mercedes-Benz, which still didn't see Tesla as a threat. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, 3 Sep. 2022 No fears of nuclear war, a sense that permanent prosperity was at hand, and a smug feeling that the world was about to enter into its second American Century. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 27 June 2022 What if there’s someone extremely smug, arrogant, aggressive, self-satisfied, who happens to be below in society? Zack Sharf, Variety, 21 June 2022 On the job at Russo Construction, Leo’s smug jerk of a brother, Frank (Sebastian Maniscalco), throws around his weight as foreman, while sympathetic pal and co-worker Petey (Jon Manfrellotti) knows how to cut the tension. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

22 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Smug.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for smug


\ ˈsməg How to pronounce smug (audio) \
smugger; smuggest

Kids Definition of smug

: showing a superior attitude

Other Words from smug

smugly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on smug

Nglish: Translation of smug for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of smug for Arabic Speakers


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