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See more synonyms for simper on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to smile in a silly, self-conscious way.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to say with a simper.
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  1. a silly, self-conscious smile.
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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


See more synonyms for simper on Thesaurus.com
1, 3. smirk, snigger, snicker.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for simper

Historical Examples

  • Of course her smile was a make-believe, nothing more nor less than a simper.

    Prudy Keeping House

    Sophie May

  • She is great on a biled dinner, where the 'gredients have to jes' simper along.

  • "Suppose he wishes to imitate the Duke of Marlborough," says Simper.

    Roundabout Papers

    William Makepeace Thackeray

  • The hat and veil, said Madame, with a simper, were sixty dollars.

  • "That is the author of 'Love in a Cloud,'" she said with a simper of self-consciousness.

    Love in a Cloud

    Arlo Bates

British Dictionary definitions for simper


  1. (intr) to smile coyly, affectedly, or in a silly self-conscious way
  2. (tr) to utter (something) in a simpering manner
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  1. a simpering smile; smirk
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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 simper


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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper