Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

πŸ€” thinking face emoji

What does πŸ€” mean?

The thinking face emoji can be used to reference a question or an idea. It also has a rhetorical use as a way to passive aggressively doubt someone or something.

A few things to note…

The thinking face was added to the Unicode emoji set in 2015. It has widely been used as the emoji equivalent of “hmm” in any and all contexts that this might be used, from a literal thinking sound to a more abstract expression of skepticism.

Sometimes the thinking face emoji is used literally to append questions, and this shows the writer is contemplating an answer. In these cases, it is often paired with a thought balloon, or a light bulb. These questions often call for answers, and are statements of either confusion or consideration.

Other times, the thinking face emoji is used to cast doubt (though not necessarily shade) on a person or idea. Here, the thinking face emoji is more sarcastic in use. Soon after the thinking face emoji’s introduction, Max Read explained it as conveying a "furrowed brow," an "alarmed murmur," or "concerned skepticism" in New York.

In these cases, it usually follows a rhetorical question, or even a non-question, adding a nuanced tone of doubt or passive aggression to the comment.

Sometimes the thinking face emoji is used as a stand-alone response to convey skepticism. In this way, even previously neutral statements can be altered by the thinking face emoji.

People who use the thinking face emoji are primarily young, though its use is widespread and international.

For example…

“I don't recall being like that at that age. πŸ€” - thinking face emoji

kleo @j0weezy Twitter (March 18, 2017)

“I don't think his album is that hot tho it's just average πŸ€” - thinking face emoji

Mimi @mjxmt Twitter (March 18, 2017)

“If your 'friends' only support you when they see you doing good, are they really your friends? πŸ€” - thinking face emoji

TGTracks @tgtracks Twitter (March 18, 2017)

This is not a formal definition of πŸ€” like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of πŸ€” that will help you expand your word mastery.