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smart money

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noun
  1. money invested or wagered by experienced investors or bettors.
  2. such knowledgeable investors or bettors.
  3. Law. punitive or exemplary damages.
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Origin of smart money

First recorded in 1685–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for smart money

smart money

noun
    1. money bet or invested by experienced gamblers or investors, esp with inside information
    2. the gamblers or investors themselves
  1. money paid in order to extricate oneself from an unpleasant situation or agreement, esp from military service
  2. money paid by an employer to someone injured while working for him
  3. US law damages awarded to a plaintiff where the wrong was aggravated by fraud, malice, etc
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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 smart money

n.

"money bet by those in the know," 1926, from smart (adj.). The same phrase earlier meant "money paid to sailors, soldiers, workers, etc., who have been disabled while on the job" (1690s), from a noun derivative of smart (v.). Also "money paid to obtain the discharge of a recruit" (1760), hence "money paid to escape some unpleasant situation" (1818). Sometimes in legal use, "damages in excess of injury done."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper