Definition of smooth in English:



  • 1Having an even and regular surface or consistency; free from perceptible projections, lumps, or indentations.

    ‘smooth flat rocks’
    ‘a smooth skin tans more easily’
    • ‘Many layers of paint are built up into a smooth, flat surface, uniform in colour.’
    • ‘They require regular trips to the manicurist every two to three weeks for maintenance: the base of the nail needs to be filled to maintain a smooth looking surface.’
    • ‘After finishing the fringe at each shawl end, place the shawl on a smooth, flat surface and trim the fringe ends even.’
    • ‘She brought the violin to her bosom and gave it a long hug, running her slender fingers over its strings and the smooth, polished wood.’
    • ‘Circular motion will provide a flat, smooth surface but it may not be as reflective.’
    • ‘Sealant is not a gap-filler, so the resultant surface will be smooth but not flat.’
    • ‘We can achieve less friction with a smooth and flat surface - glass to be precise.’
    • ‘Superoll cold works the rough metal into a smooth hard surface, free from irregularities.’
    • ‘The cannulas allows the highest degree of contour and maintain smooth surfaces free of irregularities.’
    • ‘As an added bonus, the lava would simultaneously pave roads and sidewalks when it hardens into a glassy smooth surface of igneous rock.’
    • ‘I put my luggage bags on the ground and sat down on the smooth and flat surface of the hard bench.’
    • ‘To this day, one can stretch one's fingers and thumb to fit the indentations on its smooth surface.’
    • ‘They were set in mortar, and a smooth surface was then obtained by using large slabs of flat stone.’
    • ‘On a building or other smooth, flat surface, a trellis helps.’
    • ‘The surface to be tested should be clean and dry, smooth, and free from oxide.’
    • ‘You can choose a smooth or textured finish, or even paint it.’
    • ‘For that money I'd choose a Mini Cooper S. It was okay on smooth roads, but not as predictable as you would like on rougher roads.’
    • ‘The primer was supposed to have smoothed out the ridge of the edge, making it one smooth flat surface.’
    • ‘This specification requires that a trowel finish surface be smooth and free of trowel marks.’
    • ‘When dry and hard the ground was scraped and abraded to a smooth flat surface, especially important if there were to be areas of gilding.’
    even, level, flat, as flat as a pancake, plane, flush, unwrinkled, featureless
    clean-shaven, smooth-shaven, hairless
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    1. 1.1(of a liquid) with an even consistency; without lumps.
      ‘cook gently until the sauce is smooth’
      • ‘Pour in a little water and knead the mixture together until it forms a smooth dough.’
      • ‘More best of British grub came in the form of a porky charred Cumberland sausage served on smooth, fresh mash.’
      • ‘Keep adding the milk and whisking until it has a smooth, runny consistency.’
      • ‘In a small bowl, mix flour with enough milk to form a paste, continuing to add milk until a smooth lump-free liquid forms.’
      • ‘Stir in the egg yolk and sugar, then use a hand to knead the mixture together to form a smooth dough.’
      • ‘The white chocolate is smooth, creamy and stiff with grains of proper Bourbon vanilla, not vanillin, the cost-cutting artificial flavouring.’
      • ‘Just combine the following ingredients in a blender, purée until smooth and serve.’
      • ‘Blend half a cup of ricotta cheese, 1 medium tomato and 1 small green capsicum to a smooth consistency.’
      • ‘The best of the bunch is the smooth butterscotch panna cotta, served with swirls of curried cocoa gelée in a tall martini glass.’
      • ‘The clay is ‘weathered’ before it is mixed with sand and water and passed through a pug mill, to acquire a smooth consistency.’
      • ‘No matter how you serve it - warm and smooth, cool and creamy, or hot and sticky - chocolate gratifies like no other confection.’
      • ‘The eggs are beaten gently and then strained, leaving a smooth liquid.’
      • ‘Blend 50g of the Roquefort with the crème fraîche and milk to make a smooth dressing.’
      • ‘Knead the mixture until it reaches a smooth consistency.’
      • ‘If you like a smooth soup, place a third of the mixture in a blender with cream cheese and sour cream.’
      • ‘Add sugar and egg yolk and beat to a smooth consistency.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If the mixture is too thick to drizzle, add more milk a drop at a time, stirring until it reaches a smooth but not separated consistency.’
      • ‘Instead of getting a smooth emulsion, what they have got is a beaker full of clearly separated layers of immiscible liquid.’
      • ‘As for my medallions of beef tenderloin, medium was how they were ordered and perfectly medium was how they arrived, served up with smooth and buttery mashed potatoes.’
      creamy, whipped, velvety, of an even consistency
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    2. 1.2(of the sea or another body of water) without heavy waves; calm.
      ‘the smooth summer sea’
      • ‘The small round porthole was coated in a thin layer of fog, and he saw nothing but the smooth ocean basking in the moon glow.’
      • ‘The sea showed no longer a smooth and calm panorama, the waves dancing joyfully, for it had started a rousing melody, a robust song escaping from unruly waters.’
      • ‘Seabirds nest on the cliffs and float on the smooth sea, scattering as the RIB zooms past.’
      • ‘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.’
      calm, still, tranquil, placid, serene, undisturbed, unruffled, even, flat, glassy, mirror-like, waveless, dead calm, like a millpond
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    3. 1.3(of movement) without jerks.
      ‘the trucks gave a smooth ride’
      ‘graphics are excellent, with fast, smooth scrolling’
      • ‘I wanted to see more smooth dives and interconnected movements in the water.’
      • ‘He fumbled through his suitcase, yanking out a plain black t-shirt and pulling it over his head in one smooth movement.’
      • ‘Without a break in the smooth movement, Uke stretches his fist up and steps forward to bring the back of the knuckles on Tori's head.’
      • ‘But other players who became overly anxious could find their bodies became too tense to complete smooth movements.’
      • ‘To execute the snatch, lift a weight off the floor and overhead in one smooth movement.’
      • ‘His movements were smooth, and often he came to a slow stop in mid kick, keeping his foot level with his head for several seconds at a time.’
      • ‘In one smooth movement, straighten both legs to stand, bending your elbows to pull the bar up and in toward your chest.’
      • ‘Rialle Rose did a cartwheel, added a few original dance moves, and caught her fan again, all in one smooth movement.’
      • ‘In a single smooth movement, Dain dropped his oar and drew the crossbow from his belt.’
      • ‘With one smooth movement, he leaned forward and looked closer into my own mahogany eyes.’
      • ‘Don't neglect your form - concentrate on smooth movements, and keep your upper torso steady while you pedal.’
      • ‘You need to display at least 24 cartoons frames, or cells, per second in order to see smooth movement.’
      • ‘The movements were smooth and the steps small; the dancers always held their upper bodies regally.’
      • ‘He popped up in the right place at the right time, had the skill and composure to pull the ball out of the air with the tip of his toe and shoot in one smooth movement.’
      • ‘Characters' mouths move when they speak and the animation of their movements is fairly smooth.’
      • ‘Your feet move, too, in rhythm with the hands, to help create smooth movements.’
      • ‘Twirls are a must and we should see a lot of moving in and out of each others arms - it is a fast, smooth dance, with the lady spinning almost constantly.’
      • ‘During a Swedish massage, your therapist uses long, smooth strokes and kneading movements along your skin.’
      • ‘The springs help energy dissipation for measured and smooth movement.’
      • ‘In one smooth movement, Devon faked a punch, dodged the blade, kicked it loose from the man's hand, and caught it in midair.’
    4. 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’
      • ‘This arrangement had been working well, facilitating a smooth transition of business from Carl Stock to himself.’
      • ‘Communicate regularly with community partners and students to ensure smooth operation of the project.’
      • ‘There was, plainly, an awareness of a real difficulty in the way of the smooth transformation of the territory into its intended role as a defence establishment with no settled civilians.’
      • ‘New trains project director Nick Donovan will take responsibility for ensuring smooth introduction of the new fleet.’
      • ‘In an effort to make a smooth transition from politics to pop culture, I'm going to take a stab at compiling a top 10 list of movie villains.’
      • ‘The graduate glut is one more sign of how difficult it is for China to manage a smooth transition to a market economy.’
      • ‘The biggest task is the Government's short time-scale, as changes would be in place by 2007 and, obviously, there is a lot to be done to achieve a smooth transition.’
      • ‘The relationship between the schools also aims to allows year six pupils at the primary school to make a smooth transition to secondary education.’
      • ‘She followed a cantering success in a Roscommon handicap with a smooth victory in a conditions event at Leopardstown ten days ago.’
      • ‘Instead, Giuliani is now focusing efforts on extending his term in order ensure a smooth transition of power at such a critical time.’
      • ‘The president had made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure a smooth ceremony: he'd pulled out of the first match of the season.’
      • ‘He does not see the present process providing a smooth transition to a ‘normal’ democracy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Production Coordinator has been a major obstacle to the smooth operation of this project and repeated calls for her removal have been left unheard.’
      • ‘After that, it'll all happen, and hopefully it'll be a smooth process.’
      • ‘He collected seven trophies last season in novice events and has made a smooth transition to clubmen races this season.’
      • ‘Although he could serve as prime minister until 2010, some want a smooth hand-over to Brown sooner.’
      • ‘Technocrats from the two governments were currently discussing the modalities of the project to ensure smooth implementation.’
      • ‘We will encounter the second obstacle to a smooth transition to democracy in the period between nominations and the run up to elections.’
      • ‘Bosses say that the switch of rail maintenance contracts to Network Rail will be a smooth transition.’
      straightforward, easy, effortless, trouble-free, untroubled, well ordered, simple
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    5. 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.
      • ‘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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A spiced array of cherry and plum aromas come together in a lighter than expected palate that still holds their smooth fruit flavours to a lingering finish.’
    • ‘To go with the meal, Rachain chose a French Bourgogne Chardonnay, a very smooth white with a delightful bouquet.’
    • ‘Accepting the premise that red wine is smooth, has soft tannins and tastes of vanilla, this is a banker.’
    mellow, mild, agreeable, pleasant, bland, soft, soothing
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    1. 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’
      • ‘He was smooth, glib, emollient, full of promises that your hands can't quite grip onto.’
      • ‘In The Wolf Man, Rains is the perfect lord of the manor with his patrician bearing and smooth manner with the town's officials.’
      • ‘He combines smooth people skills with cagey tactics.’
      • ‘These guys are smooth and smart, perhaps too much so.’
      • ‘He's professional, he's smooth, he's never late, he's not strung out, his appearance is immaculate.’
      suave, urbane, sophisticated, polished, debonair, courteous, gracious, smooth-tongued, glib, media-savvy, persuasive, slick, oily, ingratiating, unctuous
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  • 1 Give (something) a flat, regular surface or appearance by running one's hand over it.

    ‘she smoothed out the newspaper’
    • ‘She grinned and her amber colored hair was smoothed out a little and curled lightly at the ends to create an elegant look.’
    • ‘The paper was smoothed out, turned over, and marked off with our house of dreams, much like an architect's sketch of a one-story ranch house.’
    • ‘Others smooth their pot surface gently with a bit of water on their finger.’
    • ‘After cutting the hair, he smoothed the strands with a flat iron, then separated chunks to create a sexy, disheveled look.’
    • ‘For your face, stirred-up egg whites, applied and allowed to tighten, smooth skin before makeup.’
    • ‘The stone pathway was smoothed out very nicely, and there were steps to sit on and talk.’
    • ‘When you soak the prune in water, it swells up, expanding so that the surface stretches and the wrinkles are smoothed out.’
    • ‘She tangled her fingers in his golden hair, an almost impossible feat considering the short strands were smoothed flat against his head.’
    • ‘Rei stood up, straightened her short blond hair and smoothed the hem of her long blue dress.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Table and bed linens were smoothed out in this late-eighteenth-century linen press.’
    • ‘Xiaohan finished it all at one go, then tried to improve her appearance by untying her hair, smoothing it down and wiping her face with her palms.’
    • ‘Suddenly feeling self - conscious, Katherine placed a hand to her tangled hair and tried to smooth it.’
    • ‘It was smoothed out so quickly I couldn't be entirely sure I had actually seen it crease.’
    • ‘Cover your sand form with sheets of wet newspaper to keep the mud walls from sticking to the sand form, smoothing the sheets flat.’
    • ‘He wiped a hand over his graying hair and smoothed his lab coat, then cleared his throat.’
    • ‘Running a hand through her hair to smooth it, Laena's hands smoothed down the front of her long, green gown in attempts to rid it of the road dust.’
    • ‘Hopping up quickly, she scrambled down the side of the rock to flat ground; smoothing the winkles of her dress.’
    • ‘Long and Narrow Cavities: In hard-to-reach places, you may want to use caulk, smoothing it flat with your finger after injecting it.’
    flatten, make flat, level, make level, level out, level off, make even, even off, even out, roll, steamroll, iron, plane, make uniform, make regular, regularize
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    1. 1.1Rub off the rough edges of (something)
      ‘you can use sandpaper to smooth the joint’
      • ‘Scrape off the blisters, smooth the edges with sandpaper and spot paint the area.’
      • ‘Use steel wool or a fine grade of sandpaper to smooth out the affected area and an inch or two of the surrounding floor.’
      • ‘So it's a little rough, but a little sandpaper'll smooth that right off.’
      • ‘Arthroscopic surgery can smooth off roughened areas of cartilage.’
      • ‘Granulated coral was used as a sandpaper to smooth the board.’
    2. 1.2Deal successfully with (a problem, difficulty, or perceived fault)
      ‘these doctrinal disputes were smoothed over’
      • ‘They were shouting at each other when they left, so I hope things are smoothed out by now.’
      • ‘It's surprising how gripes or problems can be smoothed over by the simple gesture of feeding the crew or paying travelling expenses.’
      • ‘Nor does it help that the hero's seemingly insoluble problems are glibly smoothed out in the final scene.’
      • ‘After the temporary hitch was smoothed out, the band launched into a hard rocking set of self-penned tunes, as if nothing had ever happened.’
      • ‘The problems are left behind, perhaps marginally smoothed over by their efforts.’
      • ‘But cultural and linguistic differences really do exist - they cannot be smoothed over by simply dulling our sensory perception.’
      • ‘Your social standing ought to improve as an old problem is smoothed over.’
      • ‘Richard still got into fights on occasion, but nothing that couldn't be smoothed over.’
      • ‘Our friendship has been strained lately, but I was also hoping that maybe tonight things could be smoothed over once and for all.’
      • ‘There were a few technical and dramatic details which needed to be smoothed over but on the whole I greatly enjoyed watching it with the lights, costumes and staging.’
      • ‘Differences among human beings cannot be smoothed away.’
      • ‘Much of the edginess, cruelty and complexity of the real Nash is smoothed over in this Hollywood version of his life.’
      • ‘Venezuelans waited to see if Chavez had indeed changed, and whether a split in the military and problems in the state-run oil consortium could be smoothed over.’
      • ‘Mr Purtill also smoothed over staff unrest over the departure of general manager Nigel Gray by telling them their jobs were safe.’
      • ‘Since this apparent blow up, things have been smoothed over with the two groups, but there were a few things that left a bad taste in my mouth about the whole ordeal.’
      • ‘He adroitly smoothed over marital difficulties and the couple moved to Germany, where he filed the divorce papers.’
      • ‘Seneca and Burrus smoothed over the public outcry.’
      • ‘The current disruption at York District Hospital is being smoothed over by a new commissionaire - former city pub bouncer Lisa Harrison.’
      • ‘Time now has smoothed away both the damages of runaway inflation and the hurts of the Kerr dismissal.’
      • ‘Since these hours rely on the availability of volunteers, there are still a few holes, but those should be smoothed over in the coming weeks.’
      settle, resolve, patch up, sort out, iron out, put to rights, mend, remedy, heal, cure, rectify
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    3. 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’
      • ‘This was designed to help smooth the way for a second UN resolution authorising war in Iraq.’
      • ‘The Government has also established new regulatory bodies to smooth the way for privatization.’
      • ‘Human freedom will march ahead, and we must help smooth its way.’
      • ‘We should immediately revise related internal regulations to smooth this process.’
      ease, make easy, make easier, facilitate, clear the way for, pave the way for, smooth the way for, open the door for, expedite, assist, aid, help, help along, oil, oil the wheels of, lubricate
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    4. 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’
      • ‘The plots have been smoothed to facilitate visual comparisons.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘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

    • Make someone less angry or irritated by using soothing words.

      • ‘I think this upset him a bit and I had to smooth his ruffled feathers via email.’
      • ‘I muttered darkly, not liking the fact that he so easily smoothed my ruffled feathers.’
      • ‘I know I've stepped over the line and should probably smooth her ruffled feathers.’
      • ‘He shook his head and laughed in merriment as if to smooth Big Freddie's ruffled feathers.’
      • ‘A little lie would indubitably make things all better, smooth Jake's ruffled feathers, and make everything in my life shiny again.’


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