sim·​per·​ing ˈsim-p(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce simpering (audio)
: marked by insipidity or by affected or ingratiating timidity
simpering behavior
a simpering smile/tone
During job interviews, I always felt like a simpering idiot.Nancy Scott Hanway
… spoofy moments featuring a simpering newswoman …Pauline Kael
… the indignities of office life, from boorish bosses to simpering middle managers to byzantine bureaucracies.Charles Bramesco
simperingly adverb
What a relief to meet a heroine who was not so simperingly, crushingly perfect and pretty as most of the approved Pollyannas we encountered in conventional fiction! Michele Landsberg

Examples of simpering in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Crown has become too simpering, and has suffered for that reverence. Louis Staples, Rolling Stone, 18 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'simpering.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


from present participle of simper entry 1

First Known Use

1553, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of simpering was in 1553

Dictionary Entries Near simpering

Cite this Entry

“Simpering.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on simpering

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