"smart" = "considerable (in number, amount, extent, etc.)"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Jan 26 17:28:31 UTC 2005

OED has this from 1778-1882, marked "Chiefly dial. and U.S."  Here is an ex. from more than a century later. It caught my eye because at first I thought it was only a bad metaphor.

"I get used to the dust...fine dust like talcum powder....It piles up wherever it finds a niche...The dust is smart enough to ground an aircraft."  --Major Richard C. Slater, "Notes from a Journal: Afghanistan...," War, Literature, & the Arts (16 [2004]: 151).

Is anyone familiar with this usage?


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