• synonyms


  1. behavior or speech that is smarmy.
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Origin of smarm

First recorded in 1935–40; back formation from smarmy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for smarm

Contemporary Examples of smarm

British Dictionary definitions for smarm


  1. (tr often foll by down) to flatten (the hair, etc) with cream or grease
  2. (when intr, foll by up to) to ingratiate oneself (with)
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  1. obsequious flattery
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Word Origin for smarm

C19: of unknown origin
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

Word Origin and History for smarm


1914, from colloquial verb smalm, smarm "to smear, bedaub" (the hair, with pomade), 1847, of unknown origin, perhaps somehow suggestive of the action. Verbal meaning "to smear with flattery" is from 1902.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper