Meaning of “smart” in the English Dictionary

"smart" in British English

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uk /smɑːt/ us /smɑːrt/

smart adjective (STYLISH)

B1 mainly UK having a clean, tidy, and stylish appearance:

Guy looks very smart in his new suit, doesn't he?
I need a smart jacket for my interview.
She works in a very smart new office overlooking the river.

B1 mainly UK A place or event that is smart attracts fashionable, stylish, or rich people:

a smart restaurant
We went to a very smart party on New Year's Eve.

More examples

  • She tends to wear quite smart clothes for work.
  • I need some smart trousers for work.
  • I wanted a more casual jacket - that one's a bit smart.
  • Paul had booked us into a very smart little hotel off the main square.
  • The nightclub is popular with Berlin's smart set.

smart adjective (INTELLIGENT)

B1 mainly US intelligent, or able to think quickly or intelligently in difficult situations:

Maddy's teacher says she's one of the smartest kids in the class.
Why don't you fix it if you're so smart?
I'm not smart enough to understand computers.
He's smart enough to know he can't run the business without her.
Quitting that job was the smartest move I ever made.

More examples

  • He's a very smart kid.
  • She's not especially academic but she's smart enough.
  • Steve's as smart as anyone I know with figures.
  • He's smart enough to know an opportunity when he sees one.
  • He was a very smart guy.

smart adjective (WITHOUT RESPECT )

mainly US not showing respect, especially when making a funny remark:

Don't get smart with me, young lady!
Your smart mouth is going to get you into trouble.
noun [ U ] uk /ˈsmɑːt.nəs/ us /ˈsmɑːrt.nəs/ UK

smartverb [ I ]

uk /smɑːt/ us /smɑːrt/

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

"smart" in American English

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smartadjective [ -er/-est only ]

us /smɑrt/

smart adjective [ -er/-est only ] (INTELLIGENT)

intelligent, or able to think and understand quickly in difficult situations:

Jed’s smart enough to get A’s in this class.
Her daughter is smarter than she is.
Ginny is a very smart kid.
Quitting that job was a smart move.

Smart devices are ones that operate using computers:

smart phones
a smart card

smart adjective [ -er/-est only ] (STYLISH)

dated having a clean, neat, stylish appearance:

She wore smart dresses and dashing hats.

smartverb [ I ]

us /smɑrt/

smart verb [ I ] (STING)

to feel a stinging pain:

Abby’s eyes smarted from the smoke.
fig. Sacramento is still smarting from the loss (= is upset by it).

(Definition of “smart” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"SMART" in Business English

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abbreviation for Specific, Measurable, Agreed (or Achievable), Realistic, and Time Bound (or Timed): a phrase to say that the aims of a company, employee, etc. should be stated in relation to these things:

You need to ensure that all your objectives are SMART.


uk /smɑːt/ us

intelligent or able to think quickly:

They recruit smart young people and train them on the job.
Buying those shares was a really smart move.

(Definition of “SMART” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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