Etymology: Middle English smert causing pain, from Old English smeart; akin to Old English smeortan
Date: before 12th century
1. making one smart ; causing a sharp stinging
2. marked by often sharp forceful activity or vigorous strength <a smart pull of the starter cord> 3. brisk, spirited <a smart pace> 4. a. mentally alert ; bright b. knowledgeable c. shrewd <a smart investment> 5. a. witty, clever <a smart sitcom> b. pert, saucy <don't get smart with me> 6. a. neat, trim <soldiers in smart uniforms> b. stylish or elegant in dress or appearance c. (1) appealing to sophisticated tastes (2) characteristic of or patronized by fashionable society 7. a. being a guided missile <a laser-guided smart bomb> b. operating by automation <a smart machine tool> c. intelligent 3 • smartly adverb • smartness noun II. intransitive verb Etymology: Middle English smerten, from Old English smeortan; akin to Old High German smerzan to pain Date: 13th century 1. to cause or be the cause or seat of a sharp stinging pain; also to feel or have such a pain 2. a. to feel or endure distress, remorse, or embarrassment <smarting from wounded vanity — W. L. Shirer> b. to pay a heavy or stinging penalty <would have to smart for this foolishness> III. noun Date: 13th century 1. a smarting pain; especially a stinging local pain 2. poignant grief or remorse <was not the sort to get over smarts — Sir Winston Churchill> 3. plural, slang intelligence, know-how IV. adverb Date: 13th century in a smart manner ; smartly
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.