smile

verb
\ ˈsmī(-ə)l \
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 \ adverb

Noun

smileless \ ˈsmī(-​ə)l-​ləs \ 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

Lili left the post captionless, letting the black-and-white photo of the two standing close and smiling into the mirror speak for itself. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart's Best Moments of 2018," 28 Dec. 2018 Labor Day has unionizers; Arbor Day has smiling trees. refinery29.com, "What It Means If Taylor Swift Skips Another Fourth Of July Party," 3 July 2018 Some of the pics are really cute, like the ones showing off a smiling Sabrina and Susie, who's dressed like Santa's elf. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Everything We Know About the "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" Holiday Special," 5 Dec. 2018 At Sears, a shirt with a smiling Elsa reveals a flip-sequin Anna when brushed. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "Flip sequins are the weird, glitzy fabric that kids can’t get enough of," 27 Nov. 2018 Across the pond, their family is shown celebrating a quintessential Christmas complete with a cozy fire, stockings hung with care, and smiling grandchildren. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "London's Heathrow Airport's New Christmas Commercial Is Here," 8 Nov. 2018 Turning up their cuteness levels to the max, Dove is seen pouting her lips at a smiling Thomas. Tess Garcia, Teen Vogue, "Dove Cameron Shares FaceTime Screenshots With Thomas Doherty," 28 Oct. 2018 The relationship between Cramer and the White House didn’t always have a smiling public face. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Trump, at ND rally, says keeping Senate in GOP hands 'the most important thing' after Kennedy retirement," 2 Oct. 2018 When Prince Harry announced his engagement to Meghan Markle last year, Ally Meadows looked at photographs of the smiling couple and thought to herself: That woman's got great freckles. Rose Minutaglio, Harper's BAZAAR, "I Loved Meghan Markle's Freckles So Much I Got Some Tattooed On My Face," 23 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Her older brother George has garnered lots of attention for having the same cheeky smile as Princess Diana. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Princess Charlotte Looks Identical to Princess Diana's Niece Lady Kitty Spencer," 26 Nov. 2018 JoJo’ Robar, if not by name then by description — that guy with the 200-watt smile and his three-wheeled bike who rode all over, collecting cans and friends. Bill Leukhardt, Courant Community, "Plainville Says Goodbye To JoJo," 13 June 2018 Josh continued to put a smile on her face all evening by unknowingly flying out Debby’s brother and sister-in-law to help celebrate their engagement dinner, which was complete with cake and festive balloons. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Debby Ryan and Josh Dun Are Engaged," 23 Dec. 2018 But his smile quickly fades as the focus shifts to Nick, who is clearly surprised (and maybe a little disappointed or annoyed?) that his brother has finagled his way to Vietnam when Jack knew Nicky didn’t want to be there. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Is Us Season 3 Episode 4 Finally Introduces Jack's Brother Nicky," 17 Oct. 2018 Being healthy and being out there every day, my smile is getting bigger every day being out there and competing. Matthew Vantryon, Indianapolis Star, "Healthy Edmond Sumner hoping to take advantage of Summer League," 4 July 2018 Through his family’s anger, bits and pieces of Wilson shone through in the courtroom — his dedication to job and family, his love for his children, his selflessness, his smile, his strength of character. Mike Newall, Philly.com, "Krasner didn't have to let down the dead officer's family | Mike Newall," 25 June 2018 Her beautiful smile and bright blue eyes would light up any room. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Deaths in South Florida: 6/24," 24 June 2018 His cynical joie de vivre, his puckish smile, his elevation of curiosity as a virtue. Southern Living, "All Southerners Will Appreciate How Anthony Bourdain Spent Atlanta Layovers," 11 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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Dictionary Entries near smile

Smilacina

smilagenin

smilax

smile

smileful

smile on/upon

smilet

Statistics for smile

Last Updated

9 Jan 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 \
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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