impressive or wonderful: a smashing display.
crushing or devastating: a smashing defeat.

Nearby words

  1. smash hit,
  2. smash-and-grab,
  3. smash-up,
  4. smashed,
  5. smasher,
  6. smashingly,
  7. smatch,
  8. smatter,
  9. smatterer,
  10. smattering

Origin of smashing

First recorded in 1825–35; smash + -ing2

Related formssmash·ing·ly, adverb



verb (used with object)

to break to pieces with violence and often with a crashing sound, as by striking, letting fall, or dashing against something; shatter: He smashed the vase against the wall.
to defeat, disappoint, or disillusion utterly.
to hit or strike (someone or something) with force.
to overthrow or destroy something considered as harmful: They smashed the drug racket.
to ruin financially: The depression smashed him.
Tennis, Badminton, Table Tennis. to hit (a ball or shuttlecock) overhead or overhand with a hard downward motion, causing the shot to move very swiftly and to strike the ground or table usually at a sharp angle.

verb (used without object)

to break to pieces from a violent blow or collision.
to dash with a shattering or crushing force or with great violence; crash (usually followed by against, into, through, etc.).
to become financially ruined or bankrupt (often followed by up).
to flatten and compress the signatures of a book in a press before binding.


the act or an instance of smashing or shattering.
the sound of such a smash.
a blow, hit, or slap.
a destructive collision, as between automobiles.
a smashed or shattered condition.
a process or state of collapse, ruin, or destruction: the total smash that another war would surely bring.
financial failure or ruin.
Informal. smash hit.
a drink made of brandy, or other liquor, with sugar, water, mint, and ice.
Tennis, Badminton, Table Tennis.
  1. an overhead or overhand stroke in which the ball or shuttlecock is hit with a hard, downward motion causing it to move very swiftly and to strike the ground or table usually at a sharp angle.
  2. a ball hit with such a stroke.


of, relating to, or constituting a great success: That composer has written many smash tunes.

Origin of smash

1690–1700; perhaps blend of smack2 and mash1

Related formssmash·a·ble, adjective

Synonym study

1. See break. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for smashing

British Dictionary definitions for smashing



informal, mainly British excellent or first-rate; wonderfulwe had a smashing time



to break into pieces violently and usually noisily
(when intr, foll by against, through, into, etc) to throw or crash (against) vigorously, causing shatteringhe smashed the equipment; it smashed against the wall
(tr) to hit forcefully and suddenly
(tr) tennis squash badminton to hit (the ball) fast and powerfully, esp with an overhead stroke
(tr) to defeat or wreck (persons, theories, etc)
(tr) to make bankrupt
(intr) to collide violently; crash
(intr often foll by up) to go bankrupt
smash someone's face in informal to beat someone severely


an act, instance, or sound of smashing or the state of being smashed
a violent collision, esp of vehicles
a total failure or collapse, as of a business
tennis squash badminton a fast and powerful overhead stroke
  1. something having popular success
  2. (in combination)smash-hit
slang loose change; coins


with a smash
See also smash-up

Derived Formssmashable, adjective

Word Origin for smash

C18: probably from sm (ack ² + m) ash

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 smashing
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper