• Smooth


    • IPA: /smuːð/
    • Rhymes: -uːð

    Alternative forms


    From Middle English smoothe, smothe, smethe, from Old English smōþ, smōþe ("smooth, serene, calm, unruffled") and Old English smēþe ("smooth, polished, soft, without roughness or inequalities of surface, without discomfort or annoyance, suave, agreeable, avoiding offence, not irritating, not harsh, melodious, harmonious, lenitive"), both from Proto-Germanic *smanþaz, *smanþiz ("smooth, soft"), of unknown origin. Cognate with Scots smuith ("smooth"), Low German smode, smoede, smoe ("smooth"), Low German smödig ("smooth, malleable, ductile").

    Full definition of smooth



    1. Having a texture that lacks friction. Not rough.
      • DrydenThe outlines must be smooth, imperceptible to the touch, and even, without eminence or cavities.
      • 2005, Lesley Brown, Sophist, Teaching that’s done by talking seems to have one rough path and another part which is smoother.
    2. Without difficulty, problems, or unexpected consequences or incidents.We hope for a smooth transition to the new system.
      • 2011, Phil McNulty, Euro 2012: Montenegro 2-2 England http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/15195384.stmEngland's path to Poland and Ukraine next summer looked to be a smooth one as goals from Ashley Young and Darren Bent gave them a comfortable lead after 31 minutes.
    3. bland; glib
      • AddisonThis smooth discourse and mild behavior oft
        Conceal a traitor.
      • 1912, Gustavus Myers, History of the Supreme Court of the United States, This feeling, grounded on the experience of centuries of oppression, was not to be allayed by smooth explanations on the part of the advocates of the Constitution.
    4. Flowing or uttered without check, obstruction, or hesitation; not harsh; fluent.
      • Miltonthe only smooth poet of those times
      • Alexander PopeWaller was smooth; but Dryden taught to join
        The varying verse, the full-resounding line.
      • John GayWhen sage Minerva rose,
        From her sweet lips smooth elocution flows.
    5. (of a person) suave; sophisticated
      • 2003, T. Lewis Humphrey, The Price of Love, He was so smooth and handsome. He knew just what to say and when to say it.
    6. (of an action) natural; unconstrained
      • 2006, Mary Kay Moskal and Camille Blachowicz, Reading for Fluency, In order for a reading to be smooth and effortless, readers must be able to recognize and read words accurately, automatically, and quickly.
    7. (of a motion) unbroken
    8. (chiefly of water) placid, calm.
      • 1898, John Donaldson Ford, An American Cruiser in the East, As we worked to the southward, we picked up fair weather, and enjoyed smooth seas and pleasant skies.
    9. (of an edge) Lacking projections or indentations; not serrated.
    10. (of food or drink) Not grainy; having an even texture.
      • 1997, Lou Seibert Pappas, Sorbets and Ice Creams, A compact and stylish design, it produces 1 generous quart of excellent, smooth ice cream in 20 to 25 minutes.
    11. (of a beverage) Having a pleasantly rounded flavor; neither rough nor astringent.
      • 2002, Candace Irvin, For His Eyes Only, The coffee was smooth, so smooth she took another sip.
    12. (mathematics, of a function) Having derivatives of all finite orders at all points within the function’s domain.
    13. (linguistics, classical studies, of a vowel) Lacking marked aspiration.




    1. Smoothly.
      • ShakespeareSmooth runs the water where the brook is deep.



    (plural smooths)
    1. Something that is smooth, or that goes smoothly and easily.
      • Bible, Genesis xxvii. 16The smooth of his neck.
      • 1860, Anne Manning, The Day of Small Things, Things are often equalized by roughs and smooths being set against one another.
    2. A smoothing action.
      • 2006, Julienne Van Loon, Road Story, She brushes down her hair with a little bit of spit and a smooth of her hand and opens the bright green door, walking a few metres, squinting.
    3. A domestic animal having a smooth coat.
    4. A member of an anti-hippie fashion movement in 1970s Britain.
    5. (statistics) The analysis obtained through a smoothing procedure.


    1. To make smooth or even.
      • 1961, William Gibson, The Miracle Worker, She smooths her skirt, looking as composed and ladylike as possible.
    2. To make straightforward.
      • 2007, Beth Kohn, Lonely Planet Venezuela (page 379)Caracas can be a tough place but the tremendously good-natured caraqueños smoothed my passage every step of the way.
    3. (statistics, image processing, digital audio) To capture important patterns in the data, while leaving out noise.


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