Definition of smart alec in English:

smart alec

(North American smart aleck)

noun

informal
  • A person who is irritating because they behave as if they know everything:

    ‘the kid in the front row is a smart alec, always being funny’
    [as modifier] ‘a smart alec answer’
    • ‘But, basically what happened is the driving up and down the freeway, he was aware of surveillance teams, was waving at them and being, you know, kind of a smart aleck and so they finally decided that they ought to just pull him in.’
    • ‘Most smart alecs learn to make others laugh because they have to.’
    • ‘Never felt green-eyed rage at those smart alecks who zip straight past the luggage carousel with their zippy little wheelies?’
    • ‘I hate people who pretend to be smart alecks just because they managed to sprout a useless proverb.’
    • ‘Of course, a woman would do well to retain her sense of humour to tackle a difficult situation, such as when she is accosted by a smart aleck.’
    • ‘No-one likes a smart aleck, or so the saying goes.’
    • ‘DeMille read the review, she said, and wired: ‘If you think you can do better and you're not a smart aleck, come to Hollywood and try.’’
    • ‘His large physique, combined with an angry look, always stopped a smart alec commenting about his ‘skirt’.’
    • ‘The KMT is not a very clever organization, but showing themselves off as smart alecks, they have brought harm to us all.’
    • ‘Why are they being smart alecks in questioning our country's laws?’
    • ‘So if you establish yourself as a smart aleck who can do excellent stand-up comedy, it would hardly do to exclude it from your fiction.’
    • ‘The carrot-chomping smart aleck is making a comeback - as a futuristic, slimmed-down superhero.’
    • ‘City slicker smart alecs such as Burnside don't go down well in this neck of the woods - a constituency comprising a huge swathe of rural Ulster.’
    • ‘The problem is, there's always a smart alec who'll ask if my first name is Eggs.’
    • ‘I wasn't being a smart aleck, it was just my answer.’
    • ‘Then again, if you think you can get away with simply cracking wise and changing the channel, God knows how to deal with smart alecks like you.’
    • ‘Neighbours are turning on neighbours, smart alecs ringing up reporting someone lighting a cigarette or pipe.’
    • ‘Being first an engineer and second a smart aleck, I pointed out that important data was missing.’
    • ‘The last one was the quiet kid who sat in the back of the class, this one's the kid in the front row, the smart alec big - mouth, always being funny.’
    • ‘Is this a full-time venture or do all of these smart alecks have day jobs?’
    wise guy, smarty-pants, smarty
    know-all, clever clogs, clever dick, smart-arse, smarty-boots
    know-it-all, smart-ass
    wiseacre
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 19th century: from smart + Alec, diminutive of the given name Alexander.

Pronunciation:

smart alec

/ˈsmɑːt alɪk/