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[smuhg] /smʌg/
adjective, smugger, smuggest.
contentedly confident of one's ability, superiority, or correctness; complacent.
trim; spruce; smooth; sleek.
Origin of smug
1545-55; perhaps < Middle Dutch smuc neat, pretty, nice
Related forms
smugly, adverb
smugness, noun
unsmug, adjective
unsmugly, adverb
unsmugness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for smugly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "They'll fall faster than any known enemy weapon can track them," he said, smugly.

    Minor Detail John Michael Sharkey
  • And how smugly, to be sure, would he talk about his children's tutor!

  • When we read about that, as children, we said smugly: "What a fool Paris was!"

    Superwomen Albert Payson Terhune
  • "October 1st, 2144, is the patent date," said Joe Silver smugly.

    The Giants From Outer Space Geoff St. Reynard
  • "Used to be a barber in civilian life," the boy said smugly.

    Uniform of a Man Dave Dryfoos
  • "Nothing could have been done without me," Cindy said smugly.

  • "I told you not to stop at that tourist place," began Ricky smugly.

    Ralestone Luck Andre Norton
  • I couldn't resist it: "That's what took most of the three days," I said, just a little too smugly.

    The Trouble with Telstar John Berryman
  • Ted said smugly, "Either should be as much advertising for the Harknesses as it could be for Crestwood."

    Double Challenge James Arthur Kjelgaard
British Dictionary definitions for smugly


adjective smugger, smuggest
excessively self-satisfied or complacent
(archaic) trim or neat
Derived Forms
smugly, adverb
smugness, noun
Word Origin
C16: of Germanic origin; compare Low German smuck neat
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 smugly



1550s, "trim, neat, spruce, smart," possibly an alteration of Low German smuk "trim, neat," from Middle Low German smücken "to adorn" (originally "to dress," secondary sense of words meaning "to creep or slip into"), from the same source as smock. The meaning "having a self-satisfied air" is from 1701, an extension of the sense of "smooth, sleek" (1580s), which was commonly used of attractive women and girls. Related: Smugly; smugness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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