smug (adj.) 1550s, "trim, neat, spruce, smart," possibly an alteration of Low Ger. smuk "trim, neat," from M.L.G. smücken "to adorn," and smiegen "to press close" (see SMOCK (Cf. 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.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • smug — smug·gle; smug·gle·able; smug·gler; smug·ly; smug·ness; smug; …   English syllables

  • smug´ly — smug «smuhg», adjective, smug|ger, smug|gest. 1. too pleased with one s own goodness, cleverness, respectability, or accomplishments; self satisfied; complacent: »Nothing disturbs the smug beliefs of some prim, narrow minded people …   Useful english dictionary

  • Smug — Smug, a. [Of. Scand. or Low German origin; cf. LG. smuck, G. schmuck, Dan. smuk, OSw. smuck, sm[ o]ck, and E. smock, smuggle; cf. G. schmuck ornament. See {Smock}.] Studiously neat or nice, especially in dress; spruce; affectedly precise; smooth… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • smug — [smʌg] adj [Date: 1500 1600; Origin: Probably from Low German smuck pretty ] showing too much satisfaction with your own cleverness or success used to show disapproval smug about ▪ What are you looking so smug about? smug… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • smug — [ smʌg ] adjective too satisfied with your abilities or achievements. This word shows that you dislike people like this: a smug expression/face/smile ╾ smug|ly adverb ╾ smug|ness noun uncount …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Smug — Smug, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Smugged}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Smugging}.] To make smug, or spruce. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Thus said, he smugged his beard, and stroked up fair. Dryton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • smug — smug: i smug (i det skjulte) …   Dansk ordbog

  • smug — [smug] adj. smugger, smuggest [prob. < LowG smuk, trim, neat, akin to Ger schmuck, neat: for IE base see SMOCK] 1. Archaic neat, spruce, trim, etc. 2. narrowly contented with one s own accomplishments, beliefs, morality, etc.; self satisfied… …   English World dictionary

  • smug — index complacent, pretentious (pompous) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • smug — self complacent, self satisfied, priggish, *complacent Analogous words: self respecting, self esteeming, self admiring (see base words under REGARD n): Pharisaical, sanctimonious, hypocritical (see under HYPOCRISY) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms