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[out-smahrt] /ˌaʊtˈsmɑrt/
verb (used with object)
to get the better of (someone); outwit.
outsmart oneself, to defeat oneself unintentionally by overly elaborate intrigue, scheming, or the like:
This time he may have outsmarted himself.
Origin of outsmart
1925-30; out- + smart (adj.) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for outsmart
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We place a mental block in your mind, but you outsmart us, and now you know our weakness.

    The Flying Cuspidors V. R. Francis
  • Or, simply, because he thinks he can outsmart the policeman on the beat.

    The Highest Treason Randall Garrett
  • Just stay alive and you can outsmart these savages, he repeated ironically to himself.

    The Syndic C.M. Kornbluth
  • It's cat and mouse, who can outsmart whom, hunter versus hunted fun.

    Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow
  • Anything he's after must be worth plenty to any guy who can outsmart him.

    Man of Many Minds E. Everett Evans
  • With his self-centered juvenile mind, he never thought anyone would try to outsmart him and succeed.

    Unwise Child Gordon Randall Garrett
British Dictionary definitions for outsmart


(transitive) (informal) to get the better of; outwit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for outsmart

"to prove too clever for," 1926, from out + smart (adj.). Related: Outsmarted; outsmarting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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