simper

verb
sim·​per | \ ˈsim-pər How to pronounce simper (audio) \
simpered; simpering\ ˈsim-​p(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce simpering (audio) \; simpers

Definition of simper

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to smile in a silly, affected, or ingratiating manner Through force of will, she escaped the narrowness of Victorian daughterhood, the polite world of needlework and simpering over teacups that had always bored her.— Matthew Dennison … in September, … Pee-wee made a surprise appearance to open the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles. Wide-eyed and simpering, this target of a thousand barbs asked innocently, "Heard any good jokes lately?" The audience roared--and rose to its feet, cheering.People Weekly Or did he really mean that she should simper sweetly to get her way or, alternatively, give in gracefully to whatever the men in cabinet wanted—and then face the inevitable criticism that she was ineffectual and proof that women couldn't lead?— Janine Haines

transitive verb

: to say with a simper simpered an apology

simper

noun
plural simpers

Definition of simper (Entry 2 of 2)

: a silly, affected, or ingratiating smile "I'm sure I must have misunderstood you, Professor Dumbledore," she said with a simper that left her big, round eyes as cold as ever.— J. K. Rowling Both stars are superb; adorable yet dangerous, these heroines for our times learn to handle things with a resounding bang, not a girlish simper.— Eleanor Ringel

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Other Words from simper

Verb

simperer \ ˈsim-​pər-​ər How to pronounce simperer (audio) \ noun, plural simperers

Examples of simper in a Sentence

Verb

He simpered and smirked while he talked to the boss. She simpered that she had gone to all this trouble for a reason.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In recent seasons, Philip has retreated from the world of derring-do, embracing instead a simpering self-help doctrine emblematic of the era, while Elizabeth has turned into an ever more remorseless assassin. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "Sex, Spies, and Clunky Computers on “The Americans”," 7 Mar. 2017 Lastly, Colman does beleaguered, long-suffering wife like a champ, turning what could be simpering roles into simmering ones. Vogue, "Why Olivia Colman Is The Crown’s Perfect New Queen," 29 Oct. 2017 This story of bumbling boors, chiseling social climbers, and simpering fops gallivanting and scheming around the London countryside is crisply performed by a uniformly excellent cast. Steve Heisler, Chicago Reader, "Arts / Do This ‘Amy Krouse Rosenthal: A Beauty Salon’ at Carrie Secrist Gallery, Kyle Mooney at Thalia Hall, and more things to do this week in Chicago," 10 July 2017 This story of bumbling boors, chiseling social climbers, and simpering fops gallivanting and scheming around the London countryside is crisply performed by a uniformly excellent cast. Steve Heisler, Chicago Reader, "Arts / Do This ‘Amy Krouse Rosenthal: A Beauty Salon’ at Carrie Secrist Gallery, Kyle Mooney at Thalia Hall, and more things to do this week in Chicago," 10 July 2017 This story of bumbling boors, chiseling social climbers, and simpering fops gallivanting and scheming around the London countryside is crisply performed by a uniformly excellent cast. Steve Heisler, Chicago Reader, "Arts / Do This ‘Amy Krouse Rosenthal: A Beauty Salon’ at Carrie Secrist Gallery, Kyle Mooney at Thalia Hall, and more things to do this week in Chicago," 10 July 2017 This story of bumbling boors, chiseling social climbers, and simpering fops gallivanting and scheming around the London countryside is crisply performed by a uniformly excellent cast. Steve Heisler, Chicago Reader, "Arts / Do This ‘Amy Krouse Rosenthal: A Beauty Salon’ at Carrie Secrist Gallery, Kyle Mooney at Thalia Hall, and more things to do this week in Chicago," 10 July 2017 This story of bumbling boors, chiseling social climbers, and simpering fops gallivanting and scheming around the London countryside is crisply performed by a uniformly excellent cast. Chicago Reader, "Bette Davis Ain’t for Sissies," 22 June 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Today’s announcement marks the emergence of a new GE, a high-tech industrial GE — simper, stronger, a more focused company at the core. Jon Chesto, BostonGlobe.com, "GE to shrink again with cuts," 26 June 2018 Al Capone lived as a schoolyard bully, died in a simper with a brain et by syphilis, and lives on through eternity as a cigarillo mascot and gimme film role for dark-haired white actors who want a chance to really chew some scenery. Paul Dailing, Chicago Reader, "Why does Chicago continue to embrace Al Capone?," 21 Dec. 2017

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

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First Known Use of simper

Verb

circa 1563, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

1616, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for simper

Verb

akin to Middle Dutch zimperlijc elegant, Danish dialect simper affected, coy

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Dictionary Entries near simper

simp

simpai

simpatico

simper

simpering

simple

simple beam

Statistics for simper

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for simper

The first known use of simper was circa 1563

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More Definitions for simper

simper

verb

English Language Learners Definition of simper

: to smile in a way that is not sincere or natural
: to say (something) in a way that is not sincere or natural

simper

verb
sim·​per | \ ˈsim-pər How to pronounce simper (audio) \
simpered; simpering

Kids Definition of simper

: to smile or speak in a way that is not sincere or natural

More from Merriam-Webster on simper

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with simper

Spanish Central: Translation of simper

Nglish: Translation of simper for Spanish Speakers

Comments on simper

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