Definitions

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

  • adjective Exhibiting or feeling great or offensive satisfaction with oneself or with one's situation; self-righteously complacent.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun One who is affectedly proper and nice; a self-satisfied person.
  • To confiscate summarily, as boys used to confiscate tops, marbles, etc., when the game was played out of season.
  • To hush up.
  • To make smug or spruce: often with up.
  • noun A smith.

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

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

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

  • adjective Irritatingly pleased with oneself; self-satisfied.
  • verb obsolete, transitive To make smug, or spruce.

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

  • adjective marked by excessive complacency or self-satisfaction

Etymologies

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

[Perhaps akin to Low German smuck, neat, from Middle Low German, from smucken, to adorn.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

  • The same may be said of ‘sconce’, in this sense at least; of ‘nowl’ or ‘noll’, which Wiclif uses; of ‘slops’ for trousers (Marlowe’s _Lucan_); of ‘cocksure’ (Rogers), of ‘smug’, which once meant no more than adorned (“the _smug_ bridegroom”, Shakespeare).

    English Past and Present

  • Every time Mr. Gogan saw me smile at a customer, he seemed so pleased with himself I worried that his face might freeze in an expression of smug exhilaration.

    How to Flirt with A Naked Werewolf

  • The kind old world spins on, and the bourgeois masters clip their coupons in smug complacency.

    WANTED: A NEW LAW OF DEVELOPMENT

  • But smug is smug, and what can I say – I like to call out the smug at times.

    A Pat on the Back for Matzke

  • Every time Mr. Gogan saw me smile at a customer, he seemed so pleased with himself I worried that his face might freeze in an expression of smug exhilaration.

    How to Flirt with A Naked Werewolf

  • There it will lay, because while smug is annoying, it's not THAT big a deal.

    A Pat on the Back for Matzke

  • Every time Mr. Gogan saw me smile at a customer, he seemed so pleased with himself I worried that his face might freeze in an expression of smug exhilaration.

    How to Flirt with A Naked Werewolf

  • Every time Mr. Gogan saw me smile at a customer, he seemed so pleased with himself I worried that his face might freeze in an expression of smug exhilaration.

    How to Flirt with A Naked Werewolf

  • Every time Mr. Gogan saw me smile at a customer, he seemed so pleased with himself I worried that his face might freeze in an expression of smug exhilaration.

    How to Flirt with A Naked Werewolf

  • You are right that we are in a phoney war now though and being to smug is probably not a good idea

    Poltical Language ( Ask the Focus Group )

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • 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

  • Oh, classic.

    September 27, 2007

  • Gums in reverse.

    November 3, 2007

  • 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