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[smuhg] /smʌg/
adjective, smugger, smuggest.
contentedly confident of one's ability, superiority, or correctness; complacent.
trim; spruce; smooth; sleek.
Origin of smug
1545-55; perhaps < Middle Dutch smuc neat, pretty, nice
Related forms
smugly, adverb
smugness, noun
unsmug, adjective
unsmugly, adverb
unsmugness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for smug
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was then that the chiens de faience, which the smug Paris suburbanite of to-day so loves, were born.

    Royal Palaces and Parks of France Milburg Francisco Mansfield
  • I looked into his smug face, and I was within an ace of striking him.

  • That condition we neither expect nor hope to see exchanged for smug fields with a network of railways.

    Unexplored Spain Abel Chapman
  • Bobby smiled up at him in smug satisfaction over his own wiliness.

    The Dominant Strain Anna Chapin Ray
  • A fat, smug undertaker was commissioned to arrange all the details.

    Jennie Gerhardt Theodore Dreiser
British Dictionary definitions for smug


adjective smugger, smuggest
excessively self-satisfied or complacent
(archaic) trim or neat
Derived Forms
smugly, adverb
smugness, noun
Word Origin
C16: of Germanic origin; compare Low German smuck neat
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 smug

1550s, "trim, neat, spruce, smart," possibly an alteration of Low German smuk "trim, neat," from Middle Low German smücken "to adorn" (originally "to dress," secondary sense of words meaning "to creep or slip into"), from the same source as smock. The meaning "having a self-satisfied air" is from 1701, an extension of the sense of "smooth, sleek" (1580s), which was commonly used of attractive women and girls. Related: Smugly; smugness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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