From Middle English smothe, smethe, from Old English smēþe, smōþ, both from Proto-West Germanic *smanþī, of unknown origin. Cognate with Scots smuith (“smooth”), Low German smood and smödig (“smooth, malleable, ductile”), Dutch smeuïg (“smooth”) (from earlier smeudig).
smooth (comparative smoother, superlative smoothest)
- Having a texture that lacks friction. Not rough.
1695, C[harles] A[lphonse] du Fresnoy, translated by John Dryden, De Arte Graphica. The Art of Painting, […], London: […] J[ohn] Heptinstall for W. Rogers, […], →OCLC:
The outlines must be smooth, […] imperceptible to the touch, and even, without eminence or cavities.
1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter IX, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, →OCLC:
“A tight little craft,” was Austin’s invariable comment on the matron; and she looked it, always trim and trig and smooth of surface like a converted yacht cleared for action. ¶ Near her wandered her husband, orientally bland, invariably affable, […].
2005, Lesley Brown, Sophist, translation of original by Plato, page 229e:
Teaching that’s done by talking seems to have one rough path and another part which is smoother.
- 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”, in BBC:
England'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.
- Bland; glib.
- Flowing or uttered without check, obstruction, or hesitation; not harsh; fluent.
1670, John Milton, The History of Britain:
the only smooth poet of those times
1737, [Alexander Pope], The First Epistle of the Second Book of Horace, Imitated, London: […] T. Cooper, […], →OCLC, page 16: VValler vvas ſmooth; but Dryden taught to join / The varying verſe, the full reſounding line, / The long majetſic march, and energy divine. 1713, [John] Gay, “Book III”, in The Fan. A Poem. […], 2nd edition, London: […] J[acob] Tonson, […], published 1714, →OCLC, page 23: VVhen bright Minerva roſe, / From her ſvveet Lips ſmooth Elocution flovvs, […]
- Suave; sophisticated.
2003, T. Lewis Humphrey, The Price of Love, →ISBN, page 279:
He was so smooth and handsome. He knew just what to say and when to say it.
- (of an action) Natural; unconstrained.
2006, Mary Kay Moskal, Camille Blachowicz, Reading for Fluency, →ISBN, page 3:
In order for a reading to be smooth and effortless, readers must be able to recognize and read words accurately, automatically, and quickly.
- (of a motion) Unbroken.
- (chiefly of water) Placid, calm.
- (of an edge) Lacking projections or indentations; not serrated.
1997, Christopher Dickey, Innocent Blood: A Novel, →ISBN, page 91:
Out of the handles flipped the smooth blade and the serrated blade, which was dangerously sharp, the flathead screwdrivers, the Phillips screwdriver, the can opener, the awl.
- (of food or drink) Not grainy; having an even texture.
1997, Lou Seibert Pappas, Sorbets and Ice Creams, →ISBN, page 19:
A compact and stylish design, it produces 1 generous quart of excellent, smooth ice cream in 20 to 25 minutes.
- (of a beverage) Having a pleasantly rounded flavor; neither rough nor astringent.
- (mathematics, of a function) Having derivatives of all finite orders at all points within the function’s domain.
- (mathematics, of a number) That factors completely into small prime numbers.
- (linguistics, classical studies, of a vowel) Lacking marked aspiration.
- (of muscles, medicine) Involuntary and non-striated.
- (having a texture lacking friction): even
- (without difficulty or problems): fluid
lacking friction, not rough
- Amharic: ለስላሳ (läslasa)
- Arabic: نَاعِم (nāʕim), أَمْلَس (ʔamlas)
- Egyptian Arabic: مالس (mālis), ناعم (nāʕim)
- Armenian: հարթ (hy) (hartʿ), ողորկ (hy) (oġork)
- Aromanian: buimatcu, duzi, ischiu
- Azerbaijani: hamar (az), rəvan
- Belarusian: гла́дкі (hládki)
- Bulgarian: гла́дък (bg) (gládǎk)
- Burmese: ချော (my) (hkyau:)
- Catalan: llis (ca)
- Chamicuro: pya'sino
- Chechen: шера (šera)
- Cherokee: ᎤᏩᎾᏕᏍᎩ (uwanadesgi)
- Mandarin: 平滑 (zh) (pínghuá), 光滑 (zh) (guānghuá, guānghua)
- Crimean Tatar: tegiz
- Czech: hladký (cs) m
- Dalmatian: lois
- Danish: glat (da)
- Dutch: glad (nl)
- Esperanto: glata (eo)
- Estonian: sile
- Even: булдути (ʙulduti)
- Finnish: sileä (fi)
- French: lisse (fr)
- Friulian: lis, vualîf
- Georgian: please add this translation if you can
- German: glatt (de)
- Gothic: 𐍃𐌻𐌰𐌹𐌷𐍄𐍃 (slaihts)
- Greek: λείος (el) m (leíos), απαλός (el) m (apalós)
- Ancient: λεῖος (leîos), λισσός (lissós)
- Guaraní: sỹi
- Hawaiian: paheʻe (esp. of skin), ʻōmolemole (of glass, crystal)
- Hebrew: חָלָק (he) (khalak)
- Hindi: चिकना (hi) (ciknā)
- Hungarian: sima (hu)
- Icelandic: sléttur (is) m
- Ido: glata (io)
- Ingush: шаьра (šära)
- Irish: caoin, mín
- Italian: liscio (it), mellifluo (it)
- Japanese: 滑らかな (ja) (なめらかな, nameraka na)
- Kashubian: głôdczi
- Kazakh: тегіс (tegıs)
- Korean: 매끄럽다 (ko) (maekkeureopda)
- Central Kurdish: لووس (lûs)
- Northern Kurdish: lûs (ku), hilû (ku)
- Latgalian: gluds, gludons
- Latin: glaber, lēvis (la), teres
- Latvian: gluds
- Luxembourgish: glat (lb)
- Macedonian: ма́зен (mázen), гла́док (gládok) (dialectal)
- Malay: licin (ms)
- Maori: māeneene, mōhanihani, newanewa, koutata, mohimohi
- Mbyá Guaraní: yxyĩ
- Middle English: smethe, smothe
- Mongolian: тэгш (mn) (tegš), гөлгөр (mn) (gölgör)
- Navajo: dilkǫǫh
- Occitan: lis (oc)
- Old Church Slavonic:
- Cyrillic: гладъкъ (gladŭkŭ)
- Old English: smēþe
- Old Occitan: lis
- Persian: لیز (fa) (liz)
- Polish: gładki (pl)
- Portuguese: liso (pt)
- Romanian: neted (ro), lin (ro), lis (ro)
- Romansch: glisch
- Russian: гла́дкий (ru) (gládkij)
- Scottish Gaelic: mìn, sèimh, socrach, tlàth
- Cyrillic: гла̏дак
- Roman: glȁdak (sh)
- Sicilian: lisciu (scn)
- Slovak: hladký
- Slovene: gladek
- Lower Sorbian: gładki
- Upper Sorbian: hładki
- Spanish: liso (es)
- Sundanese: lemes (su)
- Swahili: laini (sw)
- Swedish: jämn (sv), len (sv), hal (sv), slät (sv), glatt (sv)
- Tahitian: hinuhinu
- Tarantino: lisse
- Telugu: నున్నటి (nunnaṭi)
- Thai: เรียบ (th) (rîiap)
- Tocharian B: ṣmare
- Turkish: pürüzsüz (tr), düz (tr)
- Ukrainian: гладки́й (hladkýj)
- Venetian: guałivo, gałivo
- Vietnamese: trơn (vi), mượt (vi)
- Vilamovian: głōt
- Volapük: smufik (vo)
- Welsh: llyfn (cy), esmwyth (cy)
- White Hmong: du
- Yiddish: גלאַט (glat)
- Zealandic: glad
action: natural; unconstrained
edge: lacking projections or indentations; not serrated
food or drink: not grainy; having an even texture
beverage: having a pleasantly rounded flavor; neither rough nor astringent
mathematics, of a function: Having derivatives of all finite orders at all points within the function’s domain
linguistics, classical studies, of a vowel: lacking marked aspiration
smooth (comparative smoother, superlative smoothest)
1591 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Sixt, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene ii]:
Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep.
smooth (plural smooths)
- Something that is smooth, or that goes smoothly and easily.
1860, Anne Manning, The Day of Small Things, page 81:
Things are often equalized by roughs and smooths being set against one another.
- A smoothing action.
2006, Julienne Van Loon, Road Story, →ISBN, page 12:
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.
- A domestic animal having a smooth coat.
1916, William Ernest Castle, Sewall Wright, Studies of Inheritance in Guinea-pigs and Rats, page 104:
In the 4-toe stock there is a wide gap between the lowest rough and the smooths which come from the same parents.
- A member of an anti-hippie fashion movement in 1970s Britain.
1999, Peter Childs, Mike Storry, Encyclopedia of Contemporary British Culture, →ISBN, page 188:
By the early 1970s, skinhead culture began to mutate into the variant ‘white ethnic’ styles of the suedeheads and smooths.
- (statistics) The analysis obtained through a smoothing procedure.
1990, Wolfgang Härdle, Applied Nonparametric Regression, →ISBN, page 17:
A smooth of the potato data set has already been given in Figure 1.2.
something which is smooth or easy
domestic animal having a smooth coat
member of an anti-hippie fashion movement in 1970s Britain
statistics: analysis obtained through a smoothing procedure
smooth (third-person singular simple present smooths, present participle smoothing, simple past and past participle smoothed)
- (transitive) To make smooth or even.
1961, William Gibson, The Miracle Worker, →ISBN, page 37:
She smooths her skirt, looking as composed and ladylike as possible.
- Synonym: smoothen
- (transitive) To reduce to a particular shape or form by pressure; to press, to flatten.
- (transitive) To make straightforward or easy.
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.
- (transitive) To calm or palliate.
- to smooth a person's temper
- (statistics, image processing, digital audio) To capture important patterns in the data, while leaving out noise.
1999, Murray R. Spiegel, Larry J. Stephens, Schaum’s Outline of Theory and Problems of Statistics, →ISBN, page 457:
[…] the 7-month moving averages provide better smoothing of the data in this case than do the 3-month moving averages.
- (West Country) To stroke; especially to stroke an animal's fur.
Can I smooth your cat?
statistics: capture important patterns in the data, while leaving out noise