- 1 (of people) looking clean and neat; well dressed in fashionable and/or formal clothes You look very smart in that suit. I have to be smart for work.
- 2 (of clothes, etc.) clean, neat and looking new and attractive They were wearing their smartest clothes. See related entries: Describing clothes intelligent
- 3 (especially North American English) intelligent She's smarter than her brother. That was a smart career move. OK, I admit it was not the smartest thing I ever did (= it was a stupid thing to do). Synonymsintelligentsmart clever brilliant brightThese words all describe people who are good at learning, understanding and thinking about things, and the actions that show this ability.intelligent good at learning, understanding and thinking in a logical way about things; showing this ability: He’s a highly intelligent man.She asked a lot of intelligent questions.smart (especially North American English) quick at learning and understanding things; showing the ability to make good business or personal decisions: She’s smarter than her brother.That was a smart career move.clever (sometimes disapproving, especially British English) quick at learning and understanding things; showing this ability: How clever of you to work it out!He’s too clever by half, if you ask me. People use clever in the phrase : Clever boy/girl! to tell a young child that they have learnt or done something well. When used to or about an adult clever can be disapproving.brilliant extremely intelligent or skilful: He’s a brilliant young scientist.bright intelligent; quick to learn: She’s probably the brightest student in the class. Bright is used especially to talk about young people. Common collocations of bright include girl, boy, kid, student, pupil.Patterns clever/brilliant at something a(n) intelligent/smart/clever/brilliant/bright child/boy/girl/man/woman a(n) intelligent/smart/clever/brilliant thing to do See related entries: Clever fashionable
- 4connected with fashionable rich people smart restaurants She mixes with the smart set. quick
- 5(of a movement, etc.) quick and usually done with force synonym brisk He was struck with a smart crack on the head. We set off at a smart pace. computer-controlled
- 6(of a device, especially a weapon/bomb) controlled by a computer, so that it appears to act in an intelligent way smart bombs This smart washing machine will dispense an optimal amount of water for the load. Word Origin Old English smeortan (verb), of West Germanic origin; related to German schmerzen; the adjective is related to the verb, the original sense (late Old English) being ‘causing sharp pain’; from this arose ‘keen, brisk’, which led to the current senses of ‘mentally sharp’ and ‘neat in a brisk, sharp style’.Extra examples Companies are getting smart about how they use corporate planes. She’s smart enough to know what works and what doesn’t. If you’re smart, you’ll take my advice. OK, I admit it was not the smartest thing I ever did. She was one of the smart set in the 1920s. She was startlingly smart in navy blue silk. She was wearing a smart red coat. She’s smarter than her brother. That was a smart career move. The car was a smart two-seater. The reception would be very grand and smart. The restaurant has a smart new décor. The smart money is on Sam Mendes for best director. They wear smart blue uniforms. They were all in their smartest clothes. smart new shoes