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emoticon

[ih-moh-ti-kon]
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noun
  1. Computers. a digital icon or a sequence of keyboard symbols that serves to represent a facial expression, as :‐) for a smiling face. Emoticons are used in a digital message or text to convey the writer’s emotions or clarify intent.
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Compare smiley, emoji.

Origin of emoticon

1980–85; blend of emotion and icon
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Contemporary Examples


British Dictionary definitions for emoticon

emoticon

noun
  1. any of several combinations of symbols used in electronic mail and text messaging to indicate the state of mind of the writer, such as :-) to express happiness
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Word Origin

C20: from emot (ion) + icon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for emoticon

n.

by 1994, apparently from emotion + icon.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper