- 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.
- smarten up,
- 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.
Origin of smarten
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for smarten
At the tavern, where we went to smarten up and to eat, we chanced upon Gregory.The Cavalier
George Washington Cable
Antiquity has a charm of its own, and to smarten it up would only damage it.A Tramp Abroad, Complete
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
He's one of the sons, and he'd smarten 'em up if he had his way.The Eldest Son
"Your 'Enery will 'ave to smarten 'isself up a bit fer their dear sakes," I ses.Mr. Punch's Golf Stories
This afternoon ammunition drill, &c., to smarten the men up.Letters from France
Isaac Alexander Mack
- (intr) to make oneself neater
- (tr) to make quicker or livelier
Word Origin and History for smarten
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper