[ smahrt ]
See synonyms for: smartsmartersmartestsmarting on

verb (used without object)
  1. to be a source of sharp, local, and usually superficial pain, as a wound.

  2. to be the cause of a sharp, stinging pain, as an irritating application, a blow, etc.

  1. to feel a sharp, stinging pain, as in a wound.

  2. to suffer keenly from wounded feelings: She smarted under their criticism.

  3. to feel shame or remorse or to suffer in punishment or in return for something.

verb (used with object)
  1. to cause a sharp pain to or in.

adjective,smart·er, smart·est.
  1. quick or prompt in action, as persons.

  2. having or showing quick intelligence or ready mental capability: a smart student.

  1. shrewd or sharp, as a person in dealing with others or as in business dealings: a smart businessman.

  2. clever, witty, or readily effective, as a speaker, speech, rejoinder, etc.

  3. dashingly or impressively neat or trim in appearance, as persons, dress, etc.

  4. socially elegant; sophisticated or fashionable: the smart crowd.

  5. saucy; pert: smart remarks.

  6. sharply brisk, vigorous, or active: to walk with smart steps.

  7. sharply severe, as a blow, stroke, etc.

  8. sharp or keen: a smart pain.

  9. Digital Technology.

    • (of a machine, system, etc.) equipped with electronic control mechanisms, software programs, etc., and capable of remote, automated, and seemingly intelligent operation: smart copiers;smart weapons;a smart thermostat.

    • equipped with microprocessors, as for data processing, internet access, etc. (usually used in combination): a smartphone;a smartwatch.

  10. having properties that can be changed in response to stimuli or environmental conditions; self-regulating: smart fabrics that respond to temperature or light.

  11. Older Use. considerable; fairly large.

  1. in a smart manner; smartly.

  1. a sharp local pain, usually superficial, as from a wound, blow, or sting.

  2. keen mental suffering, as from wounded feelings, affliction, grievous loss, etc.

  1. smarts, Slang. intelligence; common sense: He never had the smarts to use his opportunities.

Origin of smart

First recorded before 1050; Middle English (verb) smerten, Old English -smeortan (only in the compound fyrsmeortende “painful like fire”), cognate with Old High German smerzan (German schmerzen ); (adjective) Middle English smerte, smart “quick, prompt, sharp,” originally, “biting, smarting,” late Old English smearte, akin to the verb; (adverb and noun) Middle English smerte, derivative of the adjective

Other words for smart

Opposites for smart

Other words from smart

  • smart·ing·ly, adverb
  • smart·ly, adverb
  • smart·ness, noun
  • su·per·smart, adjective
  • su·per·smart·ness, noun
  • ul·tra·smart, adjective
  • un·smart, adjective
  • un·smart·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use smart in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for smart (1 of 2)


/ (smɑːt) /

  1. astute, as in business; clever or bright

  2. quick, witty, and often impertinent in speech: a smart talker

  1. fashionable; chic: a smart hotel

  2. well-kept; neat

  3. causing a sharp stinging pain

  4. vigorous or brisk

  5. dialect considerable or numerous: a smart price

  6. (of systems) operating as if by human intelligence by using automatic computer control

  7. (of a projectile or bomb) containing a device that allows it to be guided to its target

verb(mainly intr)
  1. to feel, cause, or be the source of a sharp stinging physical pain or keen mental distress: a nettle sting smarts; he smarted under their abuse

  2. (often foll by for) to suffer a harsh penalty

  1. a stinging pain or feeling

  1. in a smart manner

Origin of smart

Old English smeortan; related to Old High German smerzan, Latin mordēre to bite, Greek smerdnos terrible

Derived forms of smart

  • smartish, adjective
  • smartly, adverb
  • smartness, noun

British Dictionary definitions for Smart (2 of 2)


/ (smɑːt) /

  1. Christopher. 1722–71, British poet, author of A Song to David (1763) and Jubilate Agno (written 1758–63, published 1939). He was confined (1756–63) for religious mania and died in a debtors' prison

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