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

The first photos of George, Charlotte, and Louis are all similar: a smiling mom and dad pose with the newborn on the steps of the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in London. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Wore a Gorgeous White Dress in the First Photos of the Royal Baby," 8 May 2019 That tweet included photos of Shaymaa, a 24-year-old who works with children on the autism spectrum in schools, posing and smiling in front of a group of protestors with signs attacking Islam and the prophet Muhammad. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Meet Shaymaa Ismaa'eel, the Muslim Girl Who Posed for Pics in front of Islamophobic Protestors," 24 Apr. 2019 The second photo in his post, when scrolled right, depicts a curly-haired baby Jack, with his smiling pop. Kaitlin Menza, Woman's Day, "Luke Perry's Children Posted Tributes to Their Dad on Instagram," 6 Mar. 2019 Walk along the beach with an eye out for shipwrecked contraband and treasure, and people will smile at you. Horatio Clare, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why You Should Go to Belize Now," 21 Dec. 2018 Woods, smiling on the driving range Wednesday on the eve of the U.S. Open, is lurking after steady improvement and two top-five finishes in his last nine events. Ron Kroichick, San Francisco Chronicle, "U.S. Open has many contenders, but don’t underestimate Tiger," 13 June 2018 There was the smiling, bustling lady at the fer stand in the night food market, setting out your plate of lettuce and bundles of mint and basil for steeping in your broth. Hanya Yanagihara, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Luang Prabang Is the Ideal Southeast Asian City," 20 Nov. 2018 Her son Genesis, 4, was seated near Taylor Swift, and made eye contact with the pop star and waved at her, while Swift smiled and waved back. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Alicia Keys' Son Flirting with Taylor Swift is the Cutest Part of the 2019 iHeartRadio Awards," 15 Mar. 2019 The father smiled awkwardly and handed him an envelope. WSJ, "The Tipping Points Seem to Come More Aggressively," 27 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Twenty-five-year-old Corinne was all smiles beside them wearing an all-black outfit with dark skinny jeans and ankle boots. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx Had a Rare PDA Moment on an Outing with His Daughter," 11 Apr. 2019 State lawmakers who called on him to resign are now all smiles, standing beside him at news conferences. Alan Suderman, The Seattle Times, "Virginia governor finds ways to get beyond blackface scandal," 29 Mar. 2019 Mike, a tall man who keeps a smile on pilot-mode at all times, has glasses that magnify his dark eyes. Jonathan Kauffman, SFChronicle.com, "Upon retiring, the story of the couple behind the Tenderloin’s most-loved deli," 28 June 2018 First spotted by Elle, cameras caught the Duchess giving the birthday girl a perfect curtsy and big smile. Lindsay Schallon, Glamour, "Kate Middleton Had a Sweet Moment With the Queen at Easter Service," 21 Apr. 2019 Chances are, Magic Johnson is waiting back at his crib with two hands’ worth of championship rings in his safe and a big ol’ smile on his face. David Murphy, Philly.com, "How LeBron James' decision may change Sixers' Star Hunt approach | David Murphy," 2 July 2018 Grace Elizabeth is down right angelic, with her high, prominent cheekbones and mega-watt smile which has brought her not only commercial success but prominence in the world of high fashion. Chrissy Rutherford, Harper's BAZAAR, "Exclusive: Grace Elizabeth Is Now a Victoria's Secret Angel," 10 Apr. 2019 And dermatologists agree that everyone needs to take a fistful of chill pills over eliminating their smile lines, aka crow's-feet. Loren Savini, Allure, "Does Smiling Cause Wrinkles? No, and "Resting Bitch Face" Doesn't Prevent Them," 10 Oct. 2018 With highlighter, draw tall rectangle mouth, teeth and smile lines on butternut squash. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "50+ Creative Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Halloween," 25 July 2018

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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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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