wise guy


Informal. a cocksure, conceited, and often insolent person; smart aleck: He has a reputation for being a wise guy.

Nearby words

  1. wisdom of jesus, the son of sirach,
  2. wisdom of solomon,
  3. wisdom teeth,
  4. wisdom tooth,
  5. wise,
  6. wise men,
  7. wise up,
  8. wise up to,
  9. wise, isaac mayer,
  10. wise, stephen samuel

Origin of wise guy

An Americanism dating back to 1895–1900

Also called wiseacre.

Related formswise-guy, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for wise guy

wise guy


informal a person who is given to making conceited, sardonic, or insolent comments
US a member of the Mafia
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

Idioms and Phrases with wise guy

wise guy

An obnoxious know-it-all, a person who makes sarcastic or annoying remarks, as in the teacher was delighted that the worst wise guy in the class was moving out of town. [Slang; second half of 1800s] Also see smart aleck.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.