Meaning of “smarmy” in the English Dictionary

"smarmy" in British English

See all translations


uk /ˈsmɑː.mi/ us /ˈsmɑːr.mi/ informal disapproving

extremely polite or helpful or showing a lot of respect in a way that is annoying or does not seem sincere:

She was trying to be friendly, but she just seemed smarmy and insincere.
verb [ I or T ] uk /smɑːm/ us /smɑːrm/ UK

He's always trying to smarm his way into a promotion.
adverb uk /ˈsmɑː.məl.i/ us /ˈsmɑːr.məl.i/

"Certainly, sir," he replied smarmily.

(Definition of “smarmy” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)