The noun is from Middle English smac, smak, smacke, from Old English smæc, smæċċ (“taste, smatch”), from Proto-Germanic *smakkuz (“a taste”), from Proto-Indo-European *smegʰ-, *smeg- (“to taste”). The verb is from Middle English smaken. Cognate with English dialectal smatch, Scots smak (“scent, smell, taste, flavour”), Saterland Frisian Smoak (“taste”), West Frisian smaak (“taste”), Dutch smaak (“taste”), German Schmack, Geschmack (“taste”), Danish smag (“taste”), Swedish and Norwegian smak (“taste”), Norwegian smekke . Akin to Old English smæċċan (“to taste, smack”). More at smatch.
- A distinct flavor, especially if slight.
- rice pudding with a smack of cinnamon
- 1873 January 23, Robert Browning, “Part IV”, in Red Cotton Night-Cap Country: Or Turf and Towers, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., […], →OCLC, page 245:
- I did not call him fool, and vex my friend, / But quietly allowed experiment, / Encouraged him to dust his drink, and now / Grate lignum vitæ now bruise so-called grains / Of Paradise, and now, for perfume, pour / Distilment rare, the rose of Jericho, / Holy-thorn, passion-flower, and what know I? / Till beverage obtained the fancied smack.
- A slight trace of something; a smattering.
- (slang, uncountable) Heroin.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:heroin
- (Northern England) A form of fried potato; a scallop.
- (transitive) To get the flavor of.
- (intransitive) To have a particular taste; used with of.
- (intransitive) To indicate or suggest something; used with of.
- Her reckless behavior smacks of pride.
smack (plural smacks)
- A small sailing vessel, commonly rigged as a sloop, used chiefly in the coasting and fishing trade and often called a fishing smack
- 2009, Simon Schama, The American Future: A History:
- But without Union reinforcement, as many men as could be packed into a mere fishing smack could take the fort, Meigs wrote to Washington.
- A group of jellyfish.
Akin to German schmatzen (“eat noisily”), Dutch smakken (“to fling down”), Plautdietsch schmaksen (“to smack the lips”), regional German schmacken, Schmackes (“vigour”) (compare Swedish smak (“slap”), Middle Low German smacken, the first part of Saterland Frisian smakmuulje (“smack”)).
smack (plural smacks)
- A sharp blow; a slap. See also: spank.
- The sound of a loud kiss.
- c. 1590–1592 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Taming of the Shrew”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene ii]:
- he took the bride about the neck. And kissed her lips with such a clamorous smack.
- 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, translated by H.L. Brækstad, Folk and Fairy Tales, page 178:
- Then he told them of the princess, how she came to him, and how much she had to kiss him to get the whistle, when nobody saw or heard it over in the wood - "I must get on with these lies if the vat is to be full," said Ashiepattle, - so he told them about the queen, how stingy she was with the money and how liberal she was with kisses, that one could hear the smacks all over the wood.
- A quick, sharp noise, as of the lips when suddenly separated, or of a whip.
- To slap or hit someone.
- To make a smacking sound.
- 1832, Benjamin Disraeli, Contarini Fleming:
- A horse neighed, and a whip smacked, there was a whistle, and the sound of a cart wheel.
- (especially outside of North America) To strike a child (usually on the buttocks) as a form of discipline. (normal U.S. and Canadian term spank)
- To wetly separate the lips, making a noise, after tasting something or in expectation of a treat.
- 1763, Robert Lloyd, “A Familiar Epistle”, in St. James Magazine:
- But when, obedient to the mode / Of panegyric, courtly ode / The bard bestrides, his annual hack, / In vain I taste, and sip and smack, / I find no flavour of the Sack.
- To kiss with a close compression of the lips, so as to make a sound when they separate.
smack (not comparable)
- As if with a smack or slap; smartly; sharply.
- Right smack in the middle.
- Oxford English Dictionary, 1884–1928, and First Supplement, 1933.
- (in the phrase "inte ett smack") smidgeon, piece, small bit
- to smack
- 1867, “THE WEDDEEN O BALLYMORE”, in SONGS, ETC. IN THE DIALECT OF FORTH AND BARGY, number 5:
- To his sweethearth, an smack lick a dab of a brough.
- To his sweetheart, and smacked like a slap of a shoe.
- Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, page 96