from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To break (something) into pieces suddenly, noisily, and violently; shatter. synonym: break.
  • intransitive verb To render (something) into a mush or pulp, as by throwing or crushing: synonym: crush.
  • intransitive verb To strike with a heavy blow or impact.
  • intransitive verb Sports To hit (a ball, puck, or shuttlecock) in a forceful overhand stroke.
  • intransitive verb To cause to come into forceful contact with something.
  • intransitive verb To crush or destroy completely.
  • intransitive verb To surpass or outdo by a large margin.
  • intransitive verb To move and strike or collide suddenly, noisily, and violently.
  • intransitive verb To break suddenly into pieces, as from a violent blow or collision.
  • intransitive verb Sports To hit a ball, puck, or shuttlecock in a forceful overhand stroke.
  • intransitive verb To go bankrupt.
  • noun A heavy blow or collision.
  • noun Sports A forceful overhand stroke, as in tennis or badminton.
  • noun A violent breaking of something or the noise made by such breaking.
  • noun Total defeat or destruction; ruin.
  • noun Financial failure; bankruptcy.
  • noun A drink made of mint, sugar, soda water, and alcoholic liquor, usually brandy.
  • noun A soft drink made of crushed fruit.
  • noun Informal A resounding success.
  • adjective Of, relating to, or being a resounding success.
  • adverb With a sudden violent crash.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A violent dashing or crushing to pieces: as, the lurch of the ship was attended with a great smash of glass and china.
  • noun Destruction; ruin in general; specifically, failure; bankruptcy: as, his business has gone to smash.
  • noun A drink composed of spirit (generally brandy), cut ice, water, sugar, and sprigs of mint: it is like a julep, but served in smaller glasses.
  • noun A disastrous collision, especially on a railroad; a smash-up.
  • To break in pieces utterly and with violence; dash to pieces; shatter; crush.
  • To render insolvent; bankrupt.
  • To dash violently; fling violently and noisily: as, he smashed it against the wall.
  • In lawn-tennis, to strike with much strength; bat very swiftly.
  • Synonyms Shatter, etc. See dash.
  • To act with a crushing force; produce a crushing or crashing.
  • To be broken or dashed to pieces suddenly and roughly; go to pieces by a violent blow or collision.
  • To be ruined; fail; become insolvent or bankrupt: generally with up.
  • To dash violently: as, the locomotives smashed into each other.
  • To utter base coin.
  • noun In lawn-tennis, an overhand volley played hard and fast to prevent, by the speed of the stroke, a return by the opponent.
  • To press or make (the folded and sewed sections of a proposed book) of a uniform thickness.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To break in pieces by violence; to dash to pieces; to crush.
  • transitive verb (Lawn Tennis) To hit (the ball) from above the level of the net with a very hard overhand stroke.
  • intransitive verb To break up, or to pieces suddenly, as the result of collision or pressure.
  • noun A breaking or dashing to pieces; utter destruction; wreck.
  • noun colloq. Hence, bankruptcy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The sound of a violent impact; a violent striking together.
  • noun UK, colloquial A traffic accident.
  • noun colloquial, entertainment Something very successful.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Probably of imitative origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License



Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word smash.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • I went back with him to the Admiral Benbow, and you cannot imagine a house in such a state of smash; the very clock had been thrown down by these fellows in their furious hunt after my mother and myself; and though nothing had actually been taken away except the captain's money-bag and a little silver from the till, I could see at once that we were ruined.
    Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island (1883), ch. 5

    February 10, 2019