verb (used with object)
- to groom oneself: to smarten up before dinner.
- to become aware of one's mistakes, shortcomings, etc., and make efforts to correct them: If you don't smarten up, you're going to be out of a job.
Examples from the Web for smarten
Next day he sent for the senior officer, and after a short talk with him told him to smarten up his subaltern.General Gatacre|Beatrix Gatacre
Look to the servants, too, and smarten them up; a cold perspiration breaks over me when I think of Betty Cobb!The Dodd Family Abroad, Vol. II.(of II)|Charles James Lever
He's one of the sons, and he'd smarten 'em up if he had his way.The Eldest Son|Archibald Marshall
An' I take it that the bar'l has an influence: some bar'ls kind of wilt cider and some smarten it up, and keep it hearty.A Country Doctor and Selected Stories and Sketches|Sarah Orne Jewett
The girls went to ride with him, and naturally began to smarten their dress and accents and to change their estimates.'Charge It'|Irving Bacheller