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smarten

[smahr-tn] /ˈsmɑr tn/
verb (used with object)
1.
to make more trim or spruce; improve in appearance (usually followed by up):
Try to smarten up your outfit.
2.
to make brisker, as a pace.
3.
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
4.
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
1805-1815
1805-15; smart + -en1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for smartened up
Historical Examples
  • Nothing could look neater than those shelves of yours (illa tua pegmata), since they smartened up my books with their titles.

    The Care of Books John Willis Clark
  • The cool, sharp breath of a hidden mountain lake came down to them, and Donahue smartened up his gait.

    The Hills of Desire Richard Aumerle Maher
  • Every single hat and bonnet had to be taken from the stand, and carefully dusted, brushed, smartened up and replaced.

  • The doctor's study—the sanctum in which the interview should be held—had to be dusted and smartened up.

    Barrington Charles James Lever
  • The old entrance-front (in Liverpool Street) has been smartened up with stucco and stained-glass windows.

  • He did not paint him turned out for parade, ironed and smartened up, but in the worst trim.

  • Within an hour everything was altered; the old room was smartened up, the table shone.

  • It had been smartened up till it looked more like a doll's house than a human habitation.

    A Vanished Hand Sarah Doudney
  • The vicarage, too, has expanded, and been smartened up to suit more modern tastes and requirements.

    True to his Colours Theodore P. Wilson
  • The stepmother threw on a kerchief and smartened up the head of her daughter and took her to see the wedding.

British Dictionary definitions for smartened up

smarten

/ˈsmɑːtən/
verb (usually foll by up)
1.
(intransitive) to make oneself neater
2.
(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 smartened up

smarten

v.

"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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