Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

smarten - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb     smarten pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlesmartening
past tensesmartened
past participlesmartened

phrasal verb

smarten up

Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theysmarten up
he/she/itsmartens up
present participlesmartening up
past tensesmartened up
past participlesmartened up
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] if you smarten up or smarten yourself up, you make yourself look tidy and clean
quiz invitation

gig economy

an employment concept in which people are paid for each specific, short-term task that they do and don't have conventional contracts of employment

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

fake news

a sensational piece of news which does not map to reality, created to attract attention or damage somebody's reputation

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play