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 smile (audio) \ adverb

Noun

smileless \ ˈsmī(-​ə)l-​ləs How to pronounce smile (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for smile

Synonyms: Verb

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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 At the end of each episode, all the actors featured, even random guest stars, arrive to wave and smile as their names are credited. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Review: Despite Mayim Bialik's best efforts, Fox's 'Call Me Kat' is a terrible snooze," 31 Dec. 2020 Tom Brady hasn’t given Patriots fans much to smile about in 2020, but his impersonation of teammate Rob Gronkowski on the final day of the year might do the trick. Trevor Hass, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Duuude, that was great.’ Watch Tom Brady nail this impression of Rob Gronkowski," 31 Dec. 2020 He was hooked,, not by cars but by people — and the joy of putting on a new suit, laughing with new friends, making someone smile. al, "Dwayne Hawkins, Crown Automotive founder and Alabama native, dead at 85," 30 Dec. 2020 But this season has produced three players capable of joining Lawrence as legitimate playmakers -- and that should make McCarthy smile. Dallas News, "The one huge positive the Cowboys can take from their defense’s performance in 2020," 29 Dec. 2020 John Krasinski wanted to create a place where people could smile. Jonathan Landrum Jr., Chron, "Despite bleak 2020, celebrities such as Trae Tha Truth make effort to brighten year," 25 Dec. 2020 Few running backs in Ohio State history have had more to smile about. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "How Ohio State’s Trey Sermon found his confidence, made history and kept the Buckeyes’ playoff hopes alive," 20 Dec. 2020 Joe Philbin stopped cleaning a locker Sunday to smile — didn’t fully enjoy this game. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, "Hyde: Dolphins bullied the bullies — and it was a medieval rush in the viewing | Commentary," 20 Dec. 2020 The listener was told not to interrupt, nod, smile or make any facial gestures. James E. Causey, jsonline.com, "I've experienced racism all my life. But a course called 'Unlearning Racism' opened my eyes to new information and ideas.," 18 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun His fervent support of actors was the stuff of legend, and after landing a part, any actor’s smile was rarely as wide as Mike’s. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, "‘E.T.’ casting director Mike Fenton dies at 85," 2 Jan. 2021 Napoleon treated everyone as a friend, greeted them with a smile and stayed a true member of the community, even as a politician, said Thaddeus Walker, 58, of Detroit. Darcie Moran, Detroit Free Press, "'He was born smiling:' Police, civilians say goodbye to Sheriff Benny Napoleon," 30 Dec. 2020 His smile was infectious and his spirit shined bright on everyone that knew him. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, "Former West Mesquite RB Ty Jordan, the Pac-12’s Offensive Freshman of the Year at Utah, dies," 26 Dec. 2020 His smile was infectious and his spirit shined bright on everyone that knew him. Joseph Hoyt Dallas Morning News, Star Tribune, "Ty Jordan, the Pac-12's Offensive Freshman of the Year at Utah, dies," 26 Dec. 2020 But the award goes to a brave stuffed bear in Oakland, who was drilled in the noggin with a liner off the bat of Arizona's Ketel Marte but bounced right back up with a smile on its face. Paul Newberry, ajc, "Column: 2020 is perfect for socially distanced Newby Awards," 25 Dec. 2020 And persistence – sometimes with a smile, sometimes leaning in on the grit. Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘What binds us together’: Sara Miller Llana on the generosity of sources (audio)," 23 Dec. 2020 Ordinarily, a smile would be enough for subsequent encounters. Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Enough with the pants jokes," 8 Dec. 2020 Heavily pregnant and working as the sole provider for her family in addition dealing with domestic abuse, coming to work with a smile each day wasn't at the top of her priorities. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "It Took Almost 30 Years, But OG Aunt Viv Finally Returned To Fresh Prince To Tell Her Side Of The Story," 19 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for smile

Time Traveler

The first known use of smile was in the 14th century

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Statistics for smile

Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Smile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/smile. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for smile

smile

verb
How to pronounce smile (audio)

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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Comments on smile

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