verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
adjective, smart·er, smart·est.
- smart aleck,
- smart as a whip,
- smart ass,
- smart bomb,
- smart card
Origin of smart
Examples from the Web for smartness
I discovered who the fellow was, and that he had practised a piece of Yankee smartness for which I had no redress.The Evolution of Photography |John Werge
If there is nothing more than acquirement, smartness, and the affectation of philanthropy, Chorley is a fine creature.Charlotte Bronte and Her Circle|Clement K. Shorter
Its two principal standards appear to be money and smartness; and I do believe the world has a far higher ideal.Was It Right to Forgive?|Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
The barrier between fraud and smartness does not exist for most of them.Twenty Years a Detective in the Wickedest City in the World|Clifton R. Wooldridge
With the smartness characteristic of our navy the men were formed up in a line with their backs to the mission wall.Chatterbox, 1905.|Various
verb (mainly intr)
Word Origin for smart
Old English smeortan "be painful," from Proto-Germanic *smarta- (cf. Middle Dutch smerten, Dutch smarten, Old High German smerzan, German schmerzen "to pain," originally "to bite"), from PIE *smerd- "pain," an extension of the root *mer- (2) "to rub; to harm" (cf. Greek smerdnos "terrible, dreadful," Sanskrit mardayati "grinds, rubs, crushes," Latin mordere "to bite"). Related: Smarted; smarting.
late Old English smeart "painful, severe, stinging; causing a sharp pain," related to smeortan (see smart (v.)). Meaning "executed with force and vigor" is from c.1300. Meaning "quick, active, clever" is attested from c.1300, from the notion of "cutting" wit, words, etc., or else "keen in bargaining." Meaning "trim in attire" first attested 1718, "ascending from the kitchen to the drawing-room c.1880" [Weekley]. For sense evolution, cf. sharp (adj.).
In reference to devices, the sense of "behaving as though guided by intelligence" (e.g. smart bomb) first attested 1972. Smarts "good sense, intelligence," is first recorded 1968. Smart cookie is from 1948.
"sharp pain," c.1200, from sharp (adj.). Cf. cognate Middle Dutch smerte, Dutch smart, Old High German smerzo, German Schmerz "pain."