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simper

[sim-per]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to smile in a silly, self-conscious way.
verb (used with object)
  1. to say with a simper.
noun
  1. a silly, self-conscious smile.

Origin of simper

1555–65; akin to Middle Dutch zimperlijc, dialectal Danish simper affected, Danish sippe affected woman, orig. one who sips (see sip), a way of drinking thought to be affected
Related formssim·per·er, nounsim·per·ing·ly, adverbun·sim·per·ing, adjective

Synonyms

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1, 3. smirk, snigger, snicker.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for simpered

Historical Examples

  • She hesitated a moment; then she simpered the least bit and bridled.

    The Madonna of the Future

    Henry James

  • Jupillon smiled internally, and simpered and sneered externally.

    Germinie Lacerteux

    Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

  • Mrs Broadbent simpered a little and put her head on one side.

  • "You know they say a cat may look at a king," Miss Kitty simpered.

    The Tale of Miss Kitty Cat

    Arthur Scott Bailey

  • But to stand by all day and be simpered to, and even cringed to, was galling in the extreme.

    My Friend Smith

    Talbot Baines Reed


British Dictionary definitions for simpered

simper

verb
  1. (intr) to smile coyly, affectedly, or in a silly self-conscious way
  2. (tr) to utter (something) in a simpering manner
noun
  1. a simpering smile; smirk
Derived Formssimperer, nounsimpering, adjective, nounsimperingly, adverb

Word Origin

C16: probably from Dutch simper affected
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 simpered

simper

v.

1560s, "to smile in an affected and silly way," perhaps from a Scandinavian source (e.g. dialectal Danish semper "affected, coy, prudish") or Middle Dutch zimperlijk "affected, coy, prim," of unknown origin. Related: Simpered; simpering. As a noun, 1590s, from the verb.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper