suaver; suavest
: smoothly though often superficially gracious and sophisticated
: smooth in texture, performance, or style
suavely adverb
suaveness noun
suavity noun
Choose the Right Synonym for suave

suave, urbane, diplomatic, bland, smooth, politic mean pleasantly tactful and well-mannered.

suave suggests a specific ability to deal with others easily and without friction.

a suave public relations coordinator

urbane implies high cultivation and poise coming from wide social experience.

an urbane traveler

diplomatic stresses an ability to deal with ticklish situations tactfully.

a diplomatic negotiator

bland emphasizes mildness of manner and absence of irritating qualities.

a bland master of ceremonies

smooth suggests often a deliberately assumed suavity.

a smooth salesman

politic implies shrewd as well as tactful and suave handling of people.

a cunningly politic manager

Examples of suave in a Sentence

I am pleased, also, to think I pulled it off. I didn't do anything too stupid or gauche, and even though it was my first time at a spa, I managed to bluff my way through in a suitably suave, urbane fashion without any embarrassing social gaffes. Will Ferguson, Beauty Tips From Moose Jaw, 2004
When she had been Miss Tampa, a suave major leaguer had courted her till she found out he was married, with children. Frank Deford, Sports Illustrated, 19 Mar. 2001
Bobby gets a lot of tough love at home. As suave and polite as he seems to outsiders, he has "two personalities," says his stepmother Wille. "He's a con artist." His parents kicked him out of the house in August, trying to scare him after he came home drunk at 5 a. m. Stacy Perman, Time, 25 Oct. 1999
a suave and sophisticated businessman the suave gentleman was a great favorite of the elegant ladies who attended parties at the embassy
Recent Examples on the Web Not only is his suave apathy mostly replaced by an excessive excitedness with only sporadic glimpses of his endearingly negative qualities, but this Garfield jumps off trains, stages a heist, and is subjected to trite physical comedy by way of numerous predictable action sequences. Carlos Aguilar, Variety, 20 May 2024 The 44-year-old made an impressionable mark with his suave style. Michelle Lee, Peoplemag, 10 May 2024 In the video, Chamberlain, a special correspondent for Vogue on the red carpet, talks with Harlow, who is suave and cool with his responses to Chamberlain’s interview questions. Tabitha Parent, Peoplemag, 6 May 2024 Dixon’s suave hijacking of that song quickly establishes how much his character banks on his charm. Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Times, 21 Apr. 2024 After his turn as the suave, swashbuckling tabby cat, Banderas reprised his role as another mythic outlaw hero in The Legend of Zorro (2005). Andrew Walsh,, 21 Apr. 2024 As the title character, figured here as a suave charmer, Wayne Brady also demonstrates an impressive, hip-popping dexterity. Naveen Kumar, Variety, 18 Apr. 2024 Look at him, hilariously suave, in white tie and tails, invited to present an Oscar at the Academy Awards in 1965 and, in so doing, to lay on the Frenchness like crème Chantilly. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 11 Apr. 2024 For the post-ceremony festivities, the NFL star and his wife rocked a more casual couple look, with Brittany donning a pastel-yellow dress and Patrick swapping his suave suit for a black polo shirt and jeans. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 30 Mar. 2024

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

Word History


French, from Middle French, pleasant, sweet, from Latin suavis — more at sweet

First Known Use

1831, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of suave was in 1831

Cite this Entry

“Suave.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


suaver; suavest
: smoothly polite and agreeable
a suave young man
suavely adverb
suaveness noun
suavity noun

More from Merriam-Webster on suave

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