smooth out

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smooth (something) out

1. To make a surface smooth, flat, or even. She smoothed out her dress and fixed her hair before entering the meeting. Make sure you smooth out the concrete before it sets.
2. To conceal or remove minor problems, obstructions, hindrances, or difficulties. Prior to his campaign, the candidate hired a PR firm to smooth out some of his problems relating to younger voters. They've overhauled the process to smooth it out for new applicants.
3. To lessen tension, disagreement, anger, or other unpleasantries between two or more people. Once I smoothed out my difference with the manager, work has been going much better. Jim's going over to try and smooth things out with Sandra.
See also: out, smooth

smooth something out

1. Lit. to flatten or even something by smoothing or pressing. Wally smoothed the bedspread out. Wally finished making the bed by smoothing out the spread.
2. Fig. to polish and refine something. The editor smoothed John's style out. You need to smooth out your delivery when you are speaking.
3. and smooth something over Fig. to reduce the intensity of an argument or a misunderstanding; to try to make people feel better about something disagreeable that has happened. (Fig. on {2}.) Mary and John had a terrible argument, and they are both trying to smooth it over. Let's get everyone together and try to smooth things out. We can't keep on arguing with one another. We can smooth over the whole affair.
See also: out, smooth

smooth out

1. To eliminate some irregularities, roughness, or projections by stretching or spreading, so as to achieve a smooth surface or consistency: I had no time to iron my shirt, so I just ran my hands over it to smooth out the creases. If you're unhappy with the wrinkles around your eyes, surgery can smooth them out.
2. To rid something of obstructions, hindrances, or difficulties: Filing taxes was very confusing, but using online forms smoothes out the process. The assembly procedure is too complicated—we need to smooth it out.
3. To eliminate some obstructions, hindrances, or difficulties: I've been getting along better with my parents since we smoothed out our differences. Let me know what the problem is and I'll try to smooth it out.
See also: out, smooth