smart aleck

[ al-ik ]
/ ˈæl ɪk /

noun

an obnoxiously conceited person.
a wise guy.

QUIZZES

DO YOU KNOW THIS VOCABULARY FROM "THE HANDMAID'S TALE"?

"The Handmaid's Tale" was required reading for many of us in school. Everyone else has probably watched the very popular and addictive TV show. Do you remember this vocabulary from the book, and do you know what these terms mean?
Question 1 of 10
decorum

Origin of smart aleck

1860–65, Americanism; generic use of Aleck, nickname for Alexander

OTHER WORDS FROM smart aleck

smart-al·eck·y, smart-al·eck, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for smart aleck

British Dictionary definitions for smart aleck

smart aleck
/ (ˈælɪk) /

noun plural smart alecks

informal an irritatingly oversmart person

Derived forms of smart aleck

smart-aleck or smart-alecky, adjective

Word Origin for smart aleck

C19: from Aleck, Alec, short for Alexander
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

Idioms and Phrases with smart aleck

smart aleck

An impudent or obnoxiously self-assertive individual, a wise guy, as in New teachers often have a hard time coping with the smart alecks in their classes. This expression, dating from the mid-1800s, probably alluded to a person of this description who was named Alec or Alexander, but his identity has been lost.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.