Definitions

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

  • adj. Exhibiting or feeling great or offensive satisfaction with oneself or with one's situation; self-righteously complacent: "the smug look of a toad breakfasting on fat marsh flies” ( William Pearson).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Irritatingly pleased with oneself; self-satisfied.
  • v. To make smug, or spruce.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Studiously neat or nice, especially in dress; spruce; affectedly precise; smooth and prim.
  • transitive v. To make smug, or spruce.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Smooth; sleek; neat; trim; spruce; fine: also, affectedly proper; unctuous; especially, affectedly nice in dress; satisfied with one's own appearance; hence, self-satisfied in any respect.
  • Affectedly or conceitedly smart.
  • n. One who is affectedly proper and nice; a self-satisfied person.
  • To make smug or spruce: often with up.
  • To confiscate summarily, as boys used to confiscate tops, marbles, etc., when the game was played out of season.
  • To hush up.
  • n. A smith.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. marked by excessive complacency or self-satisfaction

Etymologies

Perhaps akin to Low German smuck, neat, from Middle Low German, from smucken, to adorn.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle Low German smuk ("neat, trim, spruce, elegant, fair"), from Middle High German gesmuc ("ornament"), from smücken ("to ornament, adorn, originally to dress"), a secondary form of Middle High German smiegen ("to creep into, hence to put on (a garment)"); see smock. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • A Range Rover stopped outside our door
         in a smug Shropshire village;
    out steps our local Councillor,
         first-class shit.

    - Peter Reading, Eclogue, from Tom O' Bedlam's Beauties, 1981

    June 28, 2008

  • Gums in reverse.

    November 3, 2007

  • Oh, classic.

    September 27, 2007

  • The pollution of self-righteous arrogance. As seen on Facebook:

    "Do you care about your enviroment????? Everytime you give a hippie credit he releases smug into the atmosphere!"

    "If I'm not mistaken you can only release smug by driving a hybrid vehicle."

    "and living in san francisco"

    "And attending a George Clooney speach"

    September 27, 2007