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

When his daughter presented him with the ring in a decorative box, Bill Wadel couldn't stop smiling. Cathy Free, Washington Post, "A scuba diver found a 59-year-old class ring at the bottom of a pond. Then the search began for its owner.," 5 July 2019 Parents of the Sandy Hook victims visited Washington, D.C., to pressure lawmakers to act, carrying pictures of their children: a freckle-faced boy smiling with a missing front tooth, a 6-year-old boy in his favorite Superman shirt. Anchorage Daily News, "The Newtown school massacre divided NRA leaders, foreshadowing the split to come," 5 July 2019 Sonya, just getting over her competitive annoyance that two point guards had been selected ahead of him, put her hand over her heart and smiled before hugging her son. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, "Drafting Stephen Curry," 25 June 2019 The most immediate analogs may be QVC and HSN (both founded in the ’80s), on which smiling hosts try on and hold up garments and tout comfort and fit. Hilary George-parkin, Vox, "Gloria Vanderbilt changed how we feel about jeans," 18 June 2019 Garretson’s observations could apply to Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten, whose smiling faces appear regularly in mainstream media, sometimes even together to proudly offer a once-illicit kiss. Charles Dunst, The New Republic, "No, the Buttigiegs Are Not Straight," 18 June 2019 The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star posted a series of photos to her Instagram Sunday (June 16), including some of her and Kanye with their children walking along a beach and one of her smiling with her father. Bonnie Stiernberg, Billboard, "Kim Kardashian Posts Father's Day Tributes to Kanye West and Her Dad," 16 June 2019 The image shows the bill featuring Tubman, slightly smiling, in a dark coat with a wide collar and a white scarf. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "This is what Harriet Tubman’s delayed $20 bill reportedly looks like," 15 June 2019 The Kravtsov family hired Barantseva to take their first professional family photos—all five family members, shivering and smiling in the birch forest, joined by a bear named Stepan. Natasha Daly, National Geographic, "Suffering unseen: The dark truth behind wildlife tourism," 12 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Clint had a beautiful smile and an infectious laugh that brought such great joy to so many. orlandosentinel.com, "Deaths in Central Florida: 7/7," 7 July 2019 Russia’s smile has been replaced by its more familiar scowl. The Economist, "Russia plays games with Georgia," 6 July 2019 Dawson said with a smile to TMZ when asked if the rumors were true. Paula Rogo, Essence, "Sen. Corey Booker Brings Girlfriend Rosario Dawson On The Campaign Trail For The First Time," 6 July 2019 Still, even with all the modern innovations now readily available, there is still a lot of confusion around the best and safest methods for getting a whiter smile. Rachel Lubitz, refinery29.com, "How To Whiten Your Teeth — Whether Your Budget Is $5 Or $500," 5 July 2019 In the film, jock Jake Wyler (Evans) gives a smile to his own portrait hanging on the wall of his high school. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Mark Ruffalo marks July 4th with celebratory Captain America meme," 5 July 2019 Marcos, who’s studying to be a sports journalist, takes out his ID card with a smug smile. Sarah Esther Maslin, 1843, "Rio is a riot in the early hours," 4 July 2019 All in all, a smile-inducing look worth its very own parade. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Billy Porter Wins New York Pride in Custom Christian Siriano," 30 June 2019 Stop in any shop along New York’s Madison Avenue or Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles and you’ll be greeted with a flute and a smile. Stephanie Cain, Fortune, "Why Champagne Brands Are Partnering With Art Fairs," 29 June 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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