[ smahr-tn ]
/ ˈsmɑr tn /

verb (used with object)

to make more trim or spruce; improve in appearance (usually followed by up): Try to smarten up your outfit.
to make brisker, as a pace.
to sharpen the judgment or broaden the experience of; educate (usually followed by up): Someone has to smarten him up about dealing with people.

Verb Phrases

smarten up,
  1. to groom oneself: to smarten up before dinner.
  2. 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.

Origin of smarten

First recorded in 1805–15; smart + -en1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for smarten

British Dictionary definitions for smarten


/ (ˈsmɑːtən) /

verb (usually foll by up)

(intr) to make oneself neater
(tr) to make quicker or livelier
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 smarten



"to make smart, to spruce up, to improve appearance," 1786, from smart (adj.) in its sense of "spruce, trim" + -en (1). Related: Smartened; smartening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper