smug

adjective
\ 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 Anger is almost always a greater motivator to vote than smug complacency. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 3 Sep. 2021 His eternal cant of smug victimhood — the one sane man in a sea of ignorance, rejected by his own community and harassed by the mainstream media — was more believable when Richard Nixon was doing it. Los Angeles Times, 27 Aug. 2021 No one had any right to expect much of this new Ocean’s Eleven, which on paper looked like a smug cavalcade of Hollywood royalty slumming their way through an ultra-stylish crime caper. Tim Grierson, Vulture, 7 July 2021 The current spike in the U.S. contributes to smug complacency among Canadians. BostonGlobe.com, 15 Aug. 2021 His enthusiasm for tricky, often contradictory, ideas feels refreshing to those who came of age in a world of social-media moralizing, simplistic documentaries, and smug opinion pieces. Hannah Williams, The Atlantic, 11 Aug. 2021 Before stock traders get too smug, bond-market volatility is mirrored by similar swings below the surface of the stock market. James Mackintosh, WSJ, 22 June 2021 While Moltres is evil and Articuno is smug and coy, Galarian Zapdos is simply speed. Joe Parlock, Forbes, 18 June 2021 The Trail Blazers general manager was smug, arrogant and condescending. John Canzano, oregonlive, 7 June 2021

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

Dictionary Entries Near smug

smudger

smug

smuggle

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Statistics for smug

Last Updated

10 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Smug.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/smug. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for smug

smug

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of smug

: having or showing the annoying quality of people who feel very pleased or satisfied with their abilities, achievements, etc.

smug

adjective
\ 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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