use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

To look up an entry in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, use the search window above. For best results, after typing in the word, click on the “Search” button instead of using the “enter” key.

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you type them in the search bar. For best results with compound words, place a quotation mark before the compound word in the search window.

guide to the dictionary

use-icon

THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. Annual surveys have gauged the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

scroll-icon

THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY BLOG

The articles in our blog examine new words, revised definitions, interesting images from the fifth edition, discussions of usage, and more.

100-words-icon

See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

Find out more!

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

smart (smärt)
Share:
adj. smart·er, smart·est
1.
a. Having or showing intelligence; bright. See Synonyms at intelligent.
b. Canny and shrewd in dealings with others: a smart negotiator.
2.
a. Amusingly clever; witty: a smart quip; a lively, smart conversation.
b. Impertinent; insolent: That's enough of your smart talk.
3. Energetic or quick in movement: a smart pace.
4. Fashionable; elegant: a smart suit; a smart restaurant; the smart set. See Synonyms at fashionable.
5. Capable of making adjustments that resemble those resulting from human decisions, chiefly by means of electronic sensors and computer technology: smart missiles; smart machines.
intr.v. smart·ed, smart·ing, smarts
1.
a. To cause a sharp, usually superficial, stinging pain: The slap delivered to my face smarted.
b. To be the location of such a pain: The incision on my leg smarts.
c. To feel such a pain.
2. To suffer acutely, as from mental distress, wounded feelings, or remorse: "No creature smarts so little as a fool" (Alexander Pope).
n.
1. Sharp pain or anguish: the smart of the wound.
2. smarts Slang Intelligence; expertise: a reporter with a lot of smarts.
Phrasal Verb:
smart off Informal
To speak or act impertinently.
Idiom:
right smart New England & Southern US
A lot; a considerable amount: "We have read right smart of that book" (Catherine C. Hopley).

[Middle English, stinging, keen, alert, from Old English smeart, causing pain.]

smartly adv.
smartness n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Smart (smärt), Christopher 1722-1771.
Share:
British poet whose works, such as A Song to David and Jubilate Agno, published posthumously, express an intense idiosyncratic religious feeling.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.