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See also: Smug




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 . See smock.

The etymological relation to MLG "smuk" presents difficulty since the "g" is not easily explained.



smug (comparative smugger, superlative smuggest)

  1. Irritatingly pleased with oneself, offensively self-complacent. self-satisfied.
    Kate looked extremely smug this morning.
  2. (obsolete) Studiously neat or nice, especially in dress; spruce; affectedly precise; smooth and prim.
    • Robynson (More's Utopia)
      They be so smug and smooth.
    • De Quincey
      the smug and scanty draperies of his style
    • Beaumont and Fletcher
      A young, smug, handsome holiness has no fellow.


Derived termsEdit



smug (third-person singular simple present smugs, present participle smugging, simple past and past participle smugged)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To make smug, or spruce.
    • Dryton
      Thus said, he smugged his beard, and stroked up fair.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for smug in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)

Further readingEdit


Norwegian BokmålEdit

Alternative formsEdit

  • smau (Nynorsk also)


From the verb smyge


smug n (definite singular smuget, indefinite plural smug, definite plural smuga or smugene)

  1. an alley or alleyway (usually for pedestrians)