\ ˈsmərk How to pronounce smirk (audio) \
smirked; smirking; smirks

Definition of smirk

intransitive verb

: to smile in an affected or smug manner : simper

transitive verb

: to say or express with a smirk

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Other Words from smirk

smirk noun

Examples of smirk in a Sentence

She tried not to smirk when they announced the winner.

Recent Examples on the Web

Father Byrne smirked like a judge deciding whether to award style points. Mike Kerrigan, WSJ, "To All the Fathers in My Life, Thank You," 14 June 2019 Other than smirking a couple of times, Tarrant showed little emotion during the hearing. Nick Perry, USA TODAY, "Man accused in New Zealand mosque killings pleads not guilty," 14 June 2019 Instead of LeBron shimmying at Doris Burke during his postgame interview, Steph gets to smirk his way through clichés. Rohan Nadkarni,, "J.R. Smith Will Never Be Forgiven," 1 June 2018 The image shows the Duke of Cambridge smirking in a white button down shirt and navy suit. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince William Sent a Low-Key Hot Photo of Himself to Fans Who Wished Him Happy Birthday," 6 Nov. 2018 Amma seems to spot Camille and smirks at her before closing the door. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Pointed Observations About Sharp Objects Episode 3," 23 July 2018 Why Verge readers might care: Justice League was the most promising of the DC movies to date, and Momoa’s Aquaman, with his rough, smirking humor and outsized version of macho, was a major part of that. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "The Verge fall movie preview, December 2018," 7 Sep. 2018 Everything was possible and nothing was true: Conspiracies now smirk and smog in the air, issued from the giant smokestacks at InfoWars and The Gateway Pundit and the White House itself. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The 8-year-olds hacking our voting machines," 4 Aug. 2018 Ehrenreich’s take on the character centers on a familiar swagger and his own riff on Harrison Ford’s smirking grin. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Solo: A Star Wars Story — our spoiler-free review," 15 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'smirk.' 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 smirk

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for smirk

Middle English, from Old English smearcian to smile; akin to Old English smerian to laugh

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Statistics for smirk

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for smirk

The first known use of smirk was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for smirk



English Language Learners Definition of smirk

: to smile in an unpleasant way because you are pleased with yourself, glad about someone else's trouble, etc.


\ ˈsmərk How to pronounce smirk (audio) \
smirked; smirking

Kids Definition of smirk

: to smile in an insincere manner

Other Words from smirk

smirk noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on smirk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with smirk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for smirk

Spanish Central: Translation of smirk

Nglish: Translation of smirk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of smirk for Arabic Speakers

Comments on smirk

What made you want to look up smirk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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