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simper

[sim-per]
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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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noun
  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

Synonyms

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

sneersmirkleergrinbeam

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

simper

verb
  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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noun
  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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper