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See more synonyms for smug on Thesaurus.com
adjective, smug·ger, smug·gest.
  1. contentedly confident of one's ability, superiority, or correctness; complacent.
  2. trim; spruce; smooth; sleek.
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Origin of smug

1545–55; perhaps < Middle Dutch smuc neat, pretty, nice
Related formssmug·ly, adverbsmug·ness, nounun·smug, adjectiveun·smug·ly, adverbun·smug·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for smug

complacent, egotistical, pompous, self-righteous, self-satisfied, conceited, holier-than-thou, priggish, snobbish, stuck-up, stuffy, superior, vainglorious, egoistic, puffed-up, hotshot

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Contemporary Examples of smug

Historical Examples of smug

British Dictionary definitions for smug


adjective smugger or smuggest
  1. excessively self-satisfied or complacent
  2. archaic trim or neat
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Derived Formssmugly, adverbsmugness, noun

Word Origin for smug

C16: of Germanic origin; compare Low German smuck neat
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 smug


1550s, "trim, neat, spruce, smart," possibly an alteration of Low German smuk "trim, neat," from Middle Low German smücken "to adorn" (originally "to dress," secondary sense of words meaning "to creep or slip into"), from the same source as smock. The meaning "having a self-satisfied air" is from 1701, an extension of the sense of "smooth, sleek" (1580s), which was commonly used of attractive women and girls. Related: Smugly; smugness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper