emo·​ti·​con | \ i-ˈmō-ti-ˌkän How to pronounce emoticon (audio) \
plural emoticons

Definition of emoticon

: a group of keyboard characters (such as :-)) that typically represents a facial expression or suggests an attitude or emotion and that is used especially in computerized communications (such as email) — compare emoji

Examples of emoticon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web An emoticon conveying the smugness felt after giving an unexpected explanation of the origins of one’s wealth and success. Madeline Hester, The New Yorker, 2 July 2022 In an Instagram emoticon response to Coachella’s more cryptic post, the Swedish House Mafia account signaled that, yes, it’s their three silhouettes seen walking into the sunset in a photo the festival posted. Chris Willman, Variety, 20 Oct. 2021 There was also a smiley face emoticon drawn on the sheet. Peter J Reilly, Forbes, 7 Sep. 2021 Her tweet was accompanied by an emoticon of a broken heart. Emily Sweeney, BostonGlobe.com, 23 Feb. 2021 Jake Funk, who was held out of Saturday’s game at Indiana for issues related to last month’s COVID-19 outbreak, reacted to the news with a broken heart emoticon. Edward Lee, baltimoresun.com, 2 Dec. 2020 For those who are unfamiliar, the yellow emoticon currently has downturned eyes and wears a white mask. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, 7 Oct. 2020 Otherwise basic pieces include embroidered-on kitschy phrases or emoticons, at not-so-cheap prices. Eliza Huber, refinery29.com, 4 May 2020 Sending Facebook hugs just got easier, thanks to this new emoticon. Arlene Martinez, USA TODAY, 18 Apr. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'emoticon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of emoticon

1987, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for emoticon

emotion + icon

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Time Traveler for emoticon

Time Traveler

The first known use of emoticon was in 1987

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Dictionary Entries Near emoticon




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Statistics for emoticon

Last Updated

13 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Emoticon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emoticon. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on emoticon

Nglish: Translation of emoticon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of emoticon for Arabic Speakers


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