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[smahr-tn] /ˈsmɑr tn/
verb (used with object)
to make more trim or spruce; improve in appearance (usually followed by up):
Try to smarten up your outfit.
to make brisker, as a pace.
to sharpen the judgment or broaden the experience of; educate (usually followed by up):
Someone has to smarten him up about dealing with people.
Verb phrases
smarten up,
  1. to groom oneself:
    to smarten up before dinner.
  2. to become aware of one's mistakes, shortcomings, etc., and make efforts to correct them:
    If you don't smarten up, you're going to be out of a job.
Origin of smarten
1805-15; smart + -en1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for smarten
  • So stop being so squeamish and sensationalizing and smarten up.
  • The system must smarten up before the quiet period ends.
  • Counsellors are provided and a wardrobe is also at hand for those who need to smarten up for job interviews.
British Dictionary definitions for smarten


verb (usually foll by up)
(intransitive) to make oneself neater
(transitive) to make quicker or livelier
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 smarten

"to make smart, to spruce up, to improve appearance," 1786, from smart (adj.) in its sense of "spruce, trim" + -en (1). Related: Smartened; smartening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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