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smarmy

[smahr-mee] /ˈsmɑr mi/
adjective, smarmier, smarmiest.
1.
excessively or unctuously flattering, ingratiating, servile, etc.:
the emcee with the smarmy welcome.
Origin
1905-1910
1905-10; smarm, variant of dial. smalm to smear, make slick (< ?) + -y1
Related forms
smarmily, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for smarmy
  • It is uplifting and sentimental without being moralistic and smarmy.
  • It comes bound in an annoying leather case that smacks of smarmy corporate importance.
  • He calls chroniclers of the decline of higher education witch hunters and smarmy seekers of nostalgia.
  • From a watchful father figure he becomes a smarmy suitor and eventually a wildly jealous and possessive warden.
  • The smarmy premise will, no doubt, turn out to be life-affirming.
  • His smarmy prurience becomes a factor in national policy.
British Dictionary definitions for smarmy

smarmy

/ˈsmɑːmɪ/
adjective smarmier, smarmiest
1.
(Brit, informal) obsequiously flattering or unpleasantly suave
Derived Forms
smarmily, adverb
smarminess, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for smarmy
adj.

"smooth and sleek" (1909); "ingratiating, unctuous," 1924, from smarm + -y (2). Related: Smarmily; smarminess.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for smarmy

smarmy

adjective
  1. Smooth and flattering; unctuously ingratiating; fulsome: a rather smarmy doctor and a highly officious nurse
  2. Rich and sonorous; orotund and fruity; plummy: an announcer with a smarmy voice
  3. Smug and self-righteous: Uncle Sam's Smarmy Look Into Employee Sex Lives

[1924+; origin unknown; since the earliest attested uses have to do with hair oil, it may be a vague blend of smooth, smear, palm oil, cream, etc]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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13
14
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