Definition of smooth in English:

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Pronunciation: /smo͞oT͟H/


1Having an even and regular surface or consistency; free from perceptible projections, lumps, or indentations: smooth flat rocks a smooth skin tans more easily
More example sentences
  • To this day, one can stretch one's fingers and thumb to fit the indentations on its smooth surface.
  • This specification requires that a trowel finish surface be smooth and free of trowel marks.
  • Superoll cold works the rough metal into a smooth hard surface, free from irregularities.
even, level, flat, plane;
unwrinkled, featureless;
glassy, glossy, silky, polished
clean-shaven, hairless
1.1(Of a liquid) with an even consistency; without lumps: cook gently until the sauce is smooth
More example sentences
  • The eggs are beaten gently and then strained, leaving a smooth liquid.
  • Strain the solids, save the stock and blitz these in a food processor, adding the stock back gradually until you have a velvety smooth liquid.
  • Instead of getting a smooth emulsion, what they have got is a beaker full of clearly separated layers of immiscible liquid.
creamy, velvety, blended
1.2(Of the sea or another body of water) without heavy waves; calm: the smooth summer sea
More example sentences
  • His voice is so soothing in fact that it feels a bit like a smooth ocean wave carelessly caressing the shore.
  • There were leadership reputations at stake in that Dail debate where successful sailors are not made in smooth seas.
  • Seabirds nest on the cliffs and float on the smooth sea, scattering as the RIB zooms past.
calm, still, tranquil, undisturbed, unruffled, even, flat, waveless, like a millpond
1.3(Of movement) without jerks: the trucks gave a smooth ride graphics are excellent, with fast, smooth scrolling
More example sentences
  • I wanted to see more smooth dives and interconnected movements in the water.
  • In one smooth movement, straighten both legs to stand, bending your elbows to pull the bar up and in toward your chest.
  • During a Swedish massage, your therapist uses long, smooth strokes and kneading movements along your skin.
1.4(Of an action, event, or process) without problems or difficulties: the group’s expansion into the U.S. market was not quite so smooth
More example sentences
  • We also hope that China will see a smooth transition of political power this year, with rational, gentle and open-minded people rising to power.
  • After that, it'll all happen, and hopefully it'll be a smooth process.
  • Although he could serve as prime minister until 2010, some want a smooth hand-over to Brown sooner.
steady, regular, uninterrupted, unbroken, fluid, fluent;
straightforward, easy, effortless, trouble-free, seamless
1.5Denoting the face of a tennis or squash racket without the projecting loops from the stringing process (used as a call when the racket is spun to decide the right to serve first or to choose ends); the opposite of rough.
Example sentences
  • The racket is spun on its head and falls to the ground. If the symbol is rightside up, it is called smooth. If the symbol is upside down, it is called rough.
2(Of food or drink) without harshness or bitterness: a lovely, smooth, very fruity wine
More example sentences
  • Accepting the premise that red wine is smooth, has soft tannins and tastes of vanilla, this is a banker.
  • The praline spread tastes like chocolatey smooth peanut butter.
  • I often find Cinsaut to be a little bland on its own, but it is nicely blended here with Pinotage to form a really smooth wine.
mellow, mild, agreeable, pleasant
2.1(Of a person or their manner, actions, or words) suavely charming in a way considered to be unctuous: his voice was infuriatingly smooth
More example sentences
  • He was smooth, glib, emollient, full of promises that your hands can't quite grip onto.
  • He combines smooth people skills with cagey tactics.
  • In The Wolf Man, Rains is the perfect lord of the manor with his patrician bearing and smooth manner with the town's officials.
suave, urbane, sophisticated, polished, debonair;
courteous, gracious, glib, slick, ingratiating, unctuous
informal smarmy


[with object]
1Give (something) a flat, regular surface or appearance by running one’s hand over it: she smoothed out the newspaper
More example sentences
  • When you soak the prune in water, it swells up, expanding so that the surface stretches and the wrinkles are smoothed out.
  • Run your hand over the sanded surface to make sure it is smoothed out.
  • Even when only the front two seats are occupied small road imperfections are smoothed out and even rough roads are dealt with effectively.
flatten, level (out/off), even out/off;
press, roll, steamroll, iron, plane
1.1Rub off the rough edges of (something): you can use sandpaper to smooth the joint
More example sentences
  • Granulated coral was used as a sandpaper to smooth the board.
  • So it's a little rough, but a little sandpaper'll smooth that right off.
  • Scrape off the blisters, smooth the edges with sandpaper and spot paint the area.
1.2Deal successfully with (a problem, difficulty, or perceived fault): these doctrinal disputes were smoothed over
More example sentences
  • Your social standing ought to improve as an old problem is smoothed over.
  • The current disruption at York District Hospital is being smoothed over by a new commissionaire - former city pub bouncer Lisa Harrison.
  • But cultural and linguistic differences really do exist - they cannot be smoothed over by simply dulling our sensory perception.
1.3Free (a course of action) from difficulties or problems: a conference would be held to smooth the way for the establishment of the provisional government
More example sentences
  • Human freedom will march ahead, and we must help smooth its way.
  • This was designed to help smooth the way for a second UN resolution authorising war in Iraq.
  • We should immediately revise related internal regulations to smooth this process.
ease, facilitate, clear the way for, pave the way for, expedite, assist, aid, help, oil the wheels of, lubricate
1.4Modify (a graph, curve, etc.) so as to lessen irregularities: values are collected over a long period of time so that fluctuations are smoothed out
More example sentences
  • The cumulative measures smooth graphs and provide an overall indication of directional changes in forecast accuracy.
  • The original curve was smoothed by reconstruction from fewer Fourier coefficients.
  • Divergence scores were averaged over consecutive disjoint sets of 15 genes each to smooth the curves.


In a way that is without difficulties: the course of true love never did run smooth
More example sentences
  • The stewards who volunteered their time and who made the day run smooth.
  • The course of true love never did run smooth.


smooth someone's ruffled feathers

see ruffle.



Example sentences
  • We describe the classification of del Pezzo surfaces of Picard rank one with smoothable quotient singularities.
  • By the de Rham theorem, the cohomology of de Rham complex of currents on a real manifold and the cohomology of the complex of currents on a complex manifold are both smoothable.
  • By some results in deformation theory it is known that Fano threefolds with Gorenstein terminal singularities are smoothable, while (Minagawa-Sano) Q-Fano threefolds of index at least 1 with terminal singularities are Q-smoothable.


Example sentences
  • The partial success of the euro - a smoothish cash launch, but with underlying economic problems and weakness in the markets - stands to leave Blair, Brown and Britain with an even tougher decision than before.
  • We could see from our own research that in the UK young people are listening less to radio than their parents, and it's in a kind of smoothish decline.
  • That round, smoothish surface indicates water was there present at one time.


Old English smōth, probably of Germanic origin, though no cognates are known. The verb dates from Middle English.

Words that rhyme with smooth

booth, soothe

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: smooth

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