Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

smooth

2 verb
     
smooth2 [transitive]
1 to make something such as cloth or hair flat by moving your hands across it:
Liz smoothed her skirt and sat down.
smooth something back/down
She smoothed back her hair.
2 also smooth down to make a rough surface flat and even:
The wood was smoothed and trimmed to size.
Smooth down all the surfaces before you start painting.
3 [always + adverb/preposition] to rub a liquid, cream etc gently over a surface or into a surface
smooth something into/over something
She smoothed suntan lotion over her legs.
4

smooth the way/path for something

to make it easier for something to happen, by dealing with any problems first:
Staff helped smooth the way for the new administration.

smooth something ↔ away

phrasal verb
to get rid of problems or difficulties:
A few objections have to be smoothed away before we can start the project.

smooth something ↔ out

phrasal verb
1 to make something such as paper or cloth flat by moving your hands across it:
They smoothed out the map on the table.
Smooth out all the wrinkles.
2 to make something happen in an even, regular way:
Sometimes central banks intervene to smooth out price fluctuations.
3 to get rid of problems or difficulties

smooth something ↔ over

phrasal verb
if you smooth over problems, difficulties etc, you make them seem less serious and easier to control, especially by talking to the people who are involved in the problem:
Sally managed to smooth over the bad feelings between them.

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