street smarts

plural noun

: the quality of being streetwise

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Taking a stand against someone with greater organizational power and perhaps more street smarts requires determination and emotional strength. Lynne Curry | Alaska Workplace, Anchorage Daily News, 21 Mar. 2023 The Oxford dictionary denotes street smarts as the knowledge and experience to deal with the difficulties and dangers of life in the big city. Jon Michail, Forbes, 16 Mar. 2023 But in this case, the bigger part of the appeal may be watching Buckley work a buyer using bravado and street smarts. Jasper Craven, New York Times, 1 Feb. 2023 Hence a country in which sarcasm and street smarts are considered national trademarks suddenly becomes superstitious. Graciela Mochkofsky, The New Yorker, 19 Dec. 2022 To prove sophistication at the fitness hearing, the prosecutor, James Lassart, pointed to Guy’s street smarts. Jesse Barron, New York Times, 21 Nov. 2022 Assuming horror pics often have Black characters as the first to die, the all-Black ensemble of characters in The Blackening must use their street smarts and knowledge of horror movies to stay alive. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 Nov. 2022 Attack the Block followed Boyega’s Moses, a young gang leader turned local hero who uses his street smarts to fight an alien invasion. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Aug. 2022 And Chee, possessed with more ambition than street smarts, and happily ensconced in white America prior to being called back home, needs help relating to the community. Daniel D'addario, Variety, 8 June 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1966, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of street smarts was in 1966

Dictionary Entries Near street smarts

Cite this Entry

“Street smarts.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition

street smarts

noun plural
: the quality of being streetwise

More from Merriam-Webster on street smarts

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