smooth out

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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 something

also smooth something out
to make differences smaller The two countries are working hard to smooth out their disagreements. A monthly average of sales smooths the highs and lows out and gives a more accurate idea of business activity.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of smooth out (to make regular)
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