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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a smug expression (=one that shows too much satisfaction with your own cleverness or success)
▪ Peter was wearing an unbearably smug expression and waving the tickets in front of me.
▪ His was the smug look of a man who knew he was in total control and liked it that way.
▪ I close the window again with a smug smile on my face, and wait for the next battalion of eager buzzers.
▪ a smug grin
▪ Frank patted his pocket and smiled, looking awfully smug.
▪ I felt very smug about not wasting paper.
▪ If you knew, which I'm sure you did judging from your smug expression, why didn't you tell me?
▪ Lawson comes over as smug and arrogant, but in fact he's quite a decent man.
▪ And Katie would give a smug little smile and then whisper about it half the night.
▪ Daley was almost smug as he watched King floundering.
▪ His was the smug look of a man who knew he was in total control and liked it that way.
▪ Not to be a trifle smug, or anything.
▪ Of all the mechanisms which sustain him in that feeling of smug self-satisfaction with himself, the chief one is self-justifying.
▪ Peter Kemp's aim seems to be to make Wells sound smug.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Smug \Smug\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Smugged; p. pr. & vb. n. Smugging.] To make smug, or spruce. [Obs.]

Thus said, he smugged his beard, and stroked up fair.


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 and prim.

They be so smug and smooth.
--Robynson (More's Utopia).

The smug and scanty draperies of his style.
--De Quincey.

A young, smug, handsome holiness has no fellow.
--Beau. & Fl.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

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.

  1. 1 Irritatingly pleased with oneself; self-satisfied. 2 (context obsolete English) Studiously neat or nice, especially in dress; spruce; affectedly precise; smooth and prim. v

  2. (context obsolete transitive English) To make smug, or spruce.

  1. adj. marked by excessive complacency or self-satisfaction; "a smug glow of self-congratulation" [syn: self-satisfied]

  2. [also: smuggest, smugger]

Smug (disambiguation)

Smug may refer to:

  • Smug, an administrative district in Poland
  • Sexual Minorities Uganda, an organisation in Uganda
  • Smug Alert!, an episode in the television series South Park
  • SMUG1, an enzyme

Usage examples of "smug".

Casting his eye across the page, he saw the smug face of Mark Jarratt, the gentleman who wanted to acquire the Argyle treasures by legitimate purchase.

People traveled between worlds in the Pax -- millionaires mostly, businesspeople and adventurers willing to spend months in cryogenic sleep and years of time-debt traveling by Mercantilus transport between the stars, smug in their cruciform certainty that job and home and family would be waiting in their steady-state Christian universe when they returned -- but it was rare, and no one traveled between worlds without money and Pax permission.

AAs and how they all seem like limp smug moronic self-satisfied shit-eating pricks with their lobotomized smiles and goopy sentiment and how he wishes them all violent technicolor harm in the worst way, new Gately sitting there spraying vitriol, wet-lipped and red-eared, trying to get kicked out, purposely trying to outrage the AAs into giving him the boot so he could quick-march back to Ennet House and tell crippled Pat Montesian and his counselor Gene M.

Caleb tried hard not to look smug, because he had no doubts himself that the Fiver would pass with flying colours.

She leaned back with a smug smile on her foxish face and propped her feet up next to Maggie on the stool.

He smiled at Bones, who after all his fussy performance over making up the drink was 80 starting to look smug, and then eyed the floor where his own julep had landed.

Ingram, an anomaly in its own right, a product of smug and juridic intelligence.

General Nace was present with several other soldiers, all bearing the same smug expression.

I could not understand nor tolerate this smug secret thing which, through screens and obfuscations, played meadow doctor to the world and cured field beasts.

Toranaga retched again and spat out the phlegm, treading water, and thought, that will teach you to be smug.

All he had was an anger caused by some faked film and the smug, insulting, deliberate indiscretions of a KGB Rezident - and threats and bribes.

Looked at the flaws in the wallpaper, at the smug philodendron in its basket hung from the ceiling, at the, black pussy-cat clock wagging its tail and rolling its eyes at the spec tacle of time being so frivolously frittered away.

I would have called him arrogant, toplofty, unbearably smug and sure of himself at times.

Leading the way Ush Karuza, looking smug and supporting Putzy, who was singing something about somebody called Adeline.

One was Prince Fuji Yeddo, smug as ever, but with the glint that represented evil cunning flashing from his darting eyes.