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

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 One of those companies is Amazon: its holiday commercial, starring an array of smiling boxes and rushed customers who are trying to finish their shopping, tries for all the quaintness of a Folgers ad. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Amazon’s holiday commercial remixed with Captain America’s score is like a Black Mirror episode," 26 Nov. 2018 As stones rained death upon him, Stephen could smile and bow at the applause of heaven. Loren A. Yadon, idahostatesman, "Leaving the ‘stage of life’ to the applause of heaven," 12 July 2018 Aisha Wiboonrungrueng, the mother of 11-year-old Chanin Wiboonrungrueng, smiled and hugged her family as news of their discovery spread. Tassanee Vejpongsa, Houston Chronicle, "Boys, coach in stable health after 10 days lost in Thai cave," 2 July 2018 That sentiment played out in real time -- for all the world to see -- as Trump shook hands with Kim, smiled and reveled in the moment Tuesday. Jeremy Diamond, Jeff Zeleny And Kevin Liptak, CNN, "Trump resets the world stage," 13 June 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Here are a few inexpensive suggestions that will make any person smile. Corben Bone, Cincinnati.com, "FC Cincinnati's Corben Bone: As a new father, I appreciate every second.," 15 June 2018 Dolce & Gabbana Behind Emilia Clarke's beautiful bushy brows and bright smile is an inner strength. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Emilia Clarke on What Makes Her Feel the Most Beautiful," 28 Mar. 2019 One early photo shows the artist in full Communion regalia, complete with white dress, veil, clasped hands in prayer, and a demure smile undermined by a pair of mischievous eyes. Lillian Dondero, ELLE Decor, "Fashionably Late: An Editor's Take on the Frida Kahlo Exhibit in Brooklyn," 27 Mar. 2019 In West Palm Beach, Florida, along the route Trump’s motorcade took before returning to Washington on Air Force One, Mary Jude Smith got a wave and a smile from the chief executive. Matt Sedensky, The Seattle Times, "Some Americans cheer Mueller’s report, others feel let down," 26 Mar. 2019 In casino halls packed into this city’s premium high-rise office towers, young, skimpily dressed croupiers deal cards and flash winning smiles for Chinese gamblers. Jake Maxwell Watts, WSJ, "Virtual Casinos Deliver a Tricky Jackpot to the Philippines," 19 Mar. 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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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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