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

Kline says, smiling at the simplicity and the grandness of that statement. Theresa Vargas, Washington Post, "On their own, but not alone: How a group of men with autism found an independence their families weren’t sure they would ever have," 8 June 2019 Ralph smiled and thanked her, and Koppelman hugged her, long and hard. Scottie Andrew And Saeed Ahmed, CNN, "A boy with autism broke down at an Orlando theme park. This employee saved the day," 8 June 2019 Like Barney, the Wiggles are still a thing, and, although most of their names have changed (see: Shirley Shawn the Unicorn), the eternally smiling and singing goofballs are, amazingly, most kids’ first connection to down under. Lauren Mccutcheon, https://www.inquirer.com, "Family fun in Philadelphia: Dinosaurs on the Parkway, zipline at the zoo, JoJo Siwa, Apollo 11 festivities, Cirque," 5 June 2019 Rutschman smiled broadly then jumped up from his chair and excitedly clapped his hands upon hearing MLB commissioner Rob Manfred make the announcement. oregonlive.com, "Baltimore Orioles select Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman with first pick of 2019 MLB first-year player draft," 3 June 2019 Is that Ina Garten waltzing through the door, smiling and high-fiving you? Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, "Here's Why You Should Be Using Parchment Paper Instead of Wax Paper," 29 May 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The picture taken after the second match always makes me smile. SI.com, "Road to Women's World Cup: Lynne Cameron Reveals Stories of the Lionesses' Behind the Scenes Photos," 6 June 2019 At the microscale, the level at which most teeth are structured, light can interact and bounce off molecules leading to a nice bright white smile, Meyers tells Gizmodo’s Ed Cara. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Nanoscale Structures Give Dragonfish Their Terrible, Invisible Teeth," 6 June 2019 The camera then cut to the groom showing a small smile and...the end. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'Blue Bloods' Fans 'Feel Cheated' Over the Shocking Finale Cliffhanger," 13 May 2019 Eugenie has a big smile on her face, while Beatrice looks slightly unsure of her return to school. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Princess Eugenie Just Shared a Back to School Throwback Photo With Princess Beatrice on Instagram," 6 Sep. 2018 And so the Apple Card charges into the financial world in which cheery, millennial-baiting websites and apps try to displace the gloomy, buttoned-up mortgage lenders and bankers of old with smile and that Silicon Valley sheen. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Apple Is a Credit Card Company Now," 25 Mar. 2019 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

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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