smile

verb
\ ˈsmī(-ə)l How to pronounce smile (audio) \
smiled; smiling

Definition of smile

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to have, produce, or exhibit a smile
2a : to look or regard with amusement or ridicule smiled at his own folly— Martin Gardner
b : to bestow approval feeling that Heaven smiled on his labors— Sheila Rowlands
c : to appear pleasant or agreeable

transitive verb

1 : to affect with or by smiling
2 : to express by a smile

smile

noun

Definition of smile (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a facial expression in which the eyes brighten and the corners of the mouth curve slightly upward and which expresses especially amusement, pleasure, approval, or sometimes scorn
2 : a pleasant or encouraging appearance

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Other Words from smile

Verb

smiler noun
smilingly \ ˈsmī-​liŋ-​lē How to pronounce smilingly (audio) \ adverb

Noun

smileless \ ˈsmī(-​ə)l-​ləs How to pronounce smileless (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for smile

Synonyms: Verb

beam, grin

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Examples of smile in a Sentence

Verb

The photographer asked us to smile for the camera. She smiled when she saw him. Both parents smiled their approval.

Noun

He greeted me with a big smile.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That video ended with Woods smiling when the ad revealed his own victory record -- then an impressive 79 tour wins. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Parody video of Tiger Woods 'watching' pundits' criticisms goes viral after golf great's title win," 26 Sep. 2018 Will their potty training woes, the shots of him or her in the bath with a smiling heart over their privates, and the tantrums captured for laughs some day be a source of embarrassment and resentment? Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "The One Question Parents Should Ask Themselves Before Posting Their Kids on Social Media," 14 Jan. 2019 Instead of silently marking time, a reminder of better days gone by, the hundreds of seats inside Teague Auditorium were filled with smiling onlookers. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "After seven difficult years, a fine day for NASA and human spaceflight," 3 Aug. 2018 What begins as a faux feel-good Super Bowl ad complete with smiling Wives and cooing newborns turns grim. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Handmaid's Tale Season 3 Trailer Dropped During the Super Bowl," 4 Feb. 2019 The couple spent the entire time smiling and whispering to each other, according to photos (finally! photos!). Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Literally Every Single Thing We Know About Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx's Relationship," 28 Jan. 2019 None of this seemed to faze the president much, who posted a video on Thursday of himself and first lady Melania Trump smiling and shaking hands with troops at the Al Asad Air Base in Iraq, underscored with patriotic music. Alexia Underwood, Vox, "Trump’s secret trip to Iraq didn’t quite go as planned," 27 Dec. 2018 In his last months, my aunt in London sent back photographs of him smiling and playing in parks to everyone, even us in the States. Sadia Hassan, Longreads, "Silence is a Lonely Country: A Prayer in Twelve Parts," 13 July 2018 In the video, Bishop can be seen dancing at 12:45 a.m. June 2 at Mile High Spirits Distillery and Tasting Bar as onlookers crowd around, smiling and laughing. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "Dancing FBI agent who shot man after backflip at Denver bar gets his gun back," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The first pic shows the couple kissing with a sunset in the background while the second is a selfie of them flashing big smiles. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Best Celebrity Instagrams from Valentine’s Day 2019," 15 Feb. 2019 This past January, Kensington Palace released images of Princess Charlotte on her first day of nursery school—and Charlotte's button nose and big smile are dead-ringers for Spencer's. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Princess Charlotte Looks Just Like Lady Kitty Spencer, Princess Diana's Niece, in Throwback Photo," 26 Nov. 2018 Takuma Sato also will have a big smile after registering his first podium as a member of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar: James Hinchcliffe takes rocket ship to winner's circle at Iowa," 8 July 2018 Sato also will have a big smile on his face after registering his first podium as a member of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Jim Ayello, USA TODAY, "James Hinchcliffe gets Indy 500 redemption with IndyCar win at Iowa," 8 July 2018 Wearing his cap backward accompanied by a big smile, Machado seemed to soak up the moment and teammate Adam Jones even brought out the Machado’s salsa that came out that year as a between-swing snack. Eduardo A. Encina, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles' Machado prefers to be spectator than participant in Home Run Derby," 30 June 2018 Some of it brought a smile after a long week of news, but some of it hit a little close to home. Zoe Weiner, Glamour, "Matt Damon Played a Belligerent Brett Kavanaugh on SNL's 44th Season Premiere," 30 Sep. 2018 The next step will be the installation of its smile on either Aug. 8 or 9, weather permitting. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smile will return to iconic Delafield barn in early August as new toy, candy shop prepares to open," 11 July 2018 As the clip shows, Meghan grabbed Harry and brought him over to meet the little guy, which instantly put a smile on his face. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Watch Meghan Markle Go Out of Her Way to Grab Prince Harry's Attention in This Adorable Clip," 1 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'smile.' 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 smile

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for smile

Verb

Middle English smilen, going back to a Germanic verbal base *smil-, *smīl- (from earlier *smei̯l-) "smile," probably an extension with -l- of Indo-European *smei̯- "laugh, smile," whence Old Church Slavic smějǫ sę, smijati sę "to laugh," Latvian smeju, smiêt "to laugh, mock," Tocharian B smi- "smile," Sanskrit smáyate "(s/he) smiles," and with a -d- extension in Greek meidiáein "to smile," philomeidḗs "with a friendly smile," Latvian smaida "smile," smaidît "to smile, mock"

Note: The comparative set for this Germanic etymon do not show clear descent from a single form, perhaps due to its affective character. There is no attested Old English ancestor of Middle English smilen; a Scandinavian source has been suggested, but Danish smile "to smile" and Swedish smila, not attested before the 17th century, could be loans from an unattested Middle Low German verb. Old High German has smilenter (glossing Latin subridens "smiling"), with presumed long vowel, continued by Middle High German smielen. Kiliaen's 1599 Dutch dictionary enters smuylen "subridere," apparently with a different vocalism. Parallel to these are a group of forms with -r- rather than -l-: Old English smerian "to laugh, scorn," Old High German smierēn, smierōn (with e2?) "to smile," Old English bismerian and Old High German bismerōn "to mock, insult," and, with different vocalism, Old English smǣr, smǣre "lip(s)," gālsmǣre "inclined to laugh, frivolous." The forms with -r- have been compared with Sanskrit (Vedic) á-smera- "not bashful, confiding," and particularly with Latin mīrus "remarkable, amazing," presumed to be derivative of a neuter *mīrum, going back to a noun *smei̯-ro- "laughter, smiling," (though a semantic shift from "laughter" to "astonishment" is questionable).

Noun

Middle English smyle, derivative of smilen "to smile entry 1"

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Dictionary Entries near smile

Smilacina

smilagenin

smilax

smile

smileful

smile on/upon

smilet

Statistics for smile

Last Updated

20 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for smile

The first known use of smile was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for smile

smile

verb

English Language Learners Definition of smile

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make a smile : to make the corners of your mouth turn up in an expression that shows happiness, amusement, pleasure, affection, etc.
: to show or express (something, such as approval, encouragement, etc.) by a smile
: to say (something) with a smile

smile

noun

English Language Learners Definition of smile (Entry 2 of 2)

: an expression on your face that makes the corners of your mouth turn up and that shows happiness, amusement, pleasure, affection, etc.

smile

verb
\ ˈsmīl How to pronounce smile (audio) \
smiled; smiling

Kids Definition of smile

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : make the corners of the mouth turn up in an expression of amusement or pleasure
2 : to look with amusement or pleasure She smiled at the picture.
3 : to express by a smile Both parents smiled approval.

smile

noun

Kids Definition of smile (Entry 2 of 2)

: an expression in which the corners of the mouth turn upward especially to show amusement or pleasure

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More from Merriam-Webster on smile

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with smile

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for smile

Spanish Central: Translation of smile

Nglish: Translation of smile for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of smile for Arabic Speakers

Comments on smile

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