since 1997, the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English


This page is about the slang term smart-arse

British English offensive!

Meaning: a person who's annoying because they try to show how clever and knowledgeable they are (n.) | having an annoying way of trying to seem clever (adj.)

For example:

  • Greg sounds like a bit of a smart-arse when he's in a discussion because he states his opinion as if it's the last word on a topic.

  • We don't need some smart-arse ecology professor coming out here and telling us how to run our farms.

Variety: This is typically used in British English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz:

Someone who's often called a smart-arse probably thinks they are

a. really sexy

b. really clever

c. really tough

Slang of the Day

This entry is in the following categories:

Contributor: Matt Errey