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easy sledding

Progress that will or is expected to require little to no effort. With their opponents' star player out with an injury, it should be easy sledding for the home team today. It will be easy sledding once I get this one assignment out of the way.
See also: easy, sledding

(as) smooth as a baby's bottom

Very smooth and soft, with no imperfections. Have you tried this chocolate mousse? It has an incredible flavor and is smooth as a baby's bottom. I love how your face feels after you shave—it's as smooth as a baby's bottom!
See also: bottom, smooth

(as) smooth as silk

Very smooth and soft, with no imperfections. Have you tried this chocolate mousse? It has an incredible flavor and is smooth as silk. I love how your face feels after you shave—it's as smooth as silk!
See also: silk, smooth

*clear sailing

 and *smooth sailing
Fig. a situation where progress is made without any difficulty. (*Typically: be ~; have ~.) Once you've passed that exam, it will be clear sailing to graduation. Working there was not all smooth sailing. The boss had a very bad temper.
See also: clear, sailing

course of true love never did run smooth

Prov. People in love with each other often have to overcome difficulties in order to be together. (From Shakespeare's play, A Midsummer Night's Dream.) Jill: What am I going to do? My boyfriend's job is transferring him to Texas, and I have to stay here. Jane: The course of true love never did run smooth.
See also: course, did, love, never, of, run, smooth, true

paper over the cracks (in something)

Fig. to try to hide faults or difficulties, often in a hasty or not very successful way. (Based on paper over something {2}.) The politician tried to paper over the cracks in his party's economic policy. Tom tried to paper over the cracks in his relationship with the boss, but it was not possible. She didn't explain it. She just papered over the cracks.
See also: crack, paper

*smooth as glass

 and *smooth as silk
Cliché smooth and shiny. (often used to describe calm bodies of water. *Also: as ~.) The bay is as smooth as glass, so we should have a pleasant boat trip. This custard is smooth as silk.
See also: glass, smooth

smooth something away

to remove something, such as wrinkles or other unevenness, by pressing or smoothing. Jeff put the cloth on the table and smoothed the wrinkles away with his hand. Jeff smoothed away the wrinkles.
See also: away, smooth

smooth something back

to flatten and position something by pressing or smoothing. He smoothed his hair back out of his eyes. Jeff smoothed back his hair.
See also: back, smooth

smooth something down

to make something flat or smooth by pressing. she smoothed her skirt down, fluffed her hair, and went into the boardroom. Karen smoothed down the bedclothes.
See also: down, smooth

smooth something onto someone or something

 and smooth something on
to spread or flatten something onto someone or something. Ted smoothed the suntan lotion onto Alice, who lay on a towel in the sand. He smoothed on some lotion.
See also: 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

Take the rough with the smooth.

Prov. Accept difficult as well as easy times. Don't give up on your business just because you lost money this month. You have to take the rough with the smooth.
See also: rough, smooth, take

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 over something

also smooth something over
to make problems seem less serious He's on a three-day visit to smooth over a crisis. They failed to agree on the main issue, and he certainly wasn't going to ignore it or try to smooth it over.
See also: smooth

smooth the way for somebody/something

also smooth somebody's/something's way
to make conditions easier for something to happen Parents can do a lot to smooth the way for their children when they start school. To smooth our way, many people offered to drive us to and from the hospital.
See also: smooth, way

paper/smooth over the cracks

to hide problems or faults, especially arguments between people, in order to make a situation seem better than it really is The two-party coalition has so far been successful in papering over the cracks. (sometimes + in ) I'm tired of smoothing over the cracks in our marriage - I want a divorce!
See also: crack, paper

take the rough with the smooth

  (British & Australian)
to accept the unpleasant parts of a situation as well as the pleasant parts You have to be prepared to take the rough with the smooth in marriage.
See also: rough, smooth, take

smooth (somebody's) ruffled feathers

to try to make someone feel less angry or upset, especially after an argument I spent the afternoon smoothing ruffled feathers and trying to convince people to give the talks another chance.
See also: feather, ruffle, smooth

smooth the way for somebody/something

  also smooth somebody's/something's way
to make it easier for someone to do something or for something to happen Parents can do a lot to smooth the way for their children when they start school. To smooth the bill's way through Congress, the President met with Republican leaders to hear their views.
See paper over the cracks
See also: smooth, way

easy sledding

Effortless progress, as in It's easy sledding from here on. This expression alludes to coasting smoothly down a hill and was first recorded as smooth sledding in 1898. Also see the antonym tough sledding.
See also: easy, sledding

smooth as silk

Lacking impediments or obstacles, unhindered, as in The negotiations went smooth as silk. This simile alludes to the slippery quality of silk. [c. 1900] Also see smooth sailing.
See also: silk, smooth

smooth over

Rid of obstructions or difficulties, as in We tried to smooth things over between the families before the wedding but did not succeed . [Late 1600s]
See also: smooth

smooth sailing

Easy progress, as in We had a hard time setting up the new computer system but it'll be smooth sailing from here on . The smooth in this idiom alludes to calm waters, free from big waves or roughness, a usage dating from the late 1300s. The transfer to other kinds of easy progress dates from the second half of the 1900s. Also see plain sailing.
See also: sailing, smooth

take the rough with the smooth

Accept the bad along with the good, as in You can't expect to close a lot of sales every week-you have to take the rough with the smooth . This adage was first recorded about 1400. Also see take the bitter with the sweet.
See also: rough, smooth, take

smooth away

1. To eliminate some irregularity, roughness, or projection, so as to achieve a smooth surface or consistency: After you make the bed, run your hand over the blanket to smooth away the wrinkles. Strands of hair were falling across my forehead while I worked, so I smoothed them away with my thumb.
2. To eliminate some obstruction, hindrance, or difficulty: It's good to have a mentor to help smooth away the difficulties of a new career. I had some concerns, but my friend spoke with me and smoothed them away.
See also: away, 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

smooth over

1. To fill or coat something so as to create a smooth surface: The builder smoothed over the seams in the sheetrock with plaster. For a healthy complexion, smooth some cold cream over your face before bed.
2. To make some strained relationship more friendly or amiable: The ambassador smoothed over relations with France. The two players almost got into a fight before the coach smoothed things over between them.
See also: smooth

clear sailing

mod. easy; easy going. It’ll be clear sailing from now on.
See also: clear, sailing

jump smooth

in. to give up illegal activities; to become straight. (Underworld.) After a night in the junk tank, I knew I had to jump smooth.
See also: jump, smooth

smooth operator

and smoothie
n. a clever and quiet person, especially in reference to romantic involvement; a seducer. He thinks he’s such a smooth operator! Clare is an old smoothie till she thinks she’s got everything the way she wants. Then you see the real Clare.
See also: operator, smooth
References in periodicals archive ?
State departments of transportation prescribe certain smoothness levels in specifications, and often penalize or provide bonuses to contractors depending on finished pavement characteristics.
The surface of the paper coated with nanoclay in this research has relatively appropriate homogeneity and smoothness due to the high specific area of nanoclay and the difference in the shapes of particles.
Parts typically are finished in one to three exposures, depending on the smoothness desired.
The air cushion also reduces friction between the profile and plates, which improves surface smoothness.
The industry's first emulsion based on algin acid thus gives a feel of greater smoothness to users, and will be utilized in POLA's new cosmetic products from the 2006 fall.
The press and outdoor ads focus on the smoothness of the gin.
SQM will be used to evaluate surface qualities such as smoothness, roughness, pattering and texture to ensure they are within acceptable limits.
While wooden violin pegs shrink and swell with humidity and temperature changes, these all-synthetic violin pegs are unaffected by atmospheric changes and will maintain their original shape and smoothness for their lifetime.
0006-inch) layers enables detail and surface finish smoothness that rival those of competitive processes, says the company.
All River Red uses a reduced version of Stravinsky's sprawling, familiar Rite of Spring, and the dozen dancers from the Beijing Modern Dance Company (men in black Mao suits, women in Chinese-red dresses) emit an icy smoothness in counterpoint to the heated score.
The greaseless formula is absorbed quickly by thirsty skin, leaving only smoothness behind.
To ensure high-quality printing, those tubes must meet stringent requirements for surface smoothness, roundness and straightness at micron-levels.
Co-author Judith Kelman's background writing nonfiction articles and novels lends a smoothness and accessibility to Dr.
Only the diamond produced the smoothness of the original cave heads.
The magnetic media then is calendered in a stack of rollers to improve the packing of the magnetic pigment and smoothness of the media, again giving a boost in the electromagnetic performance of the media.