• synonyms


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 simpering

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Some other simpering thing, na doot-they're all alike these days.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • You're simpering at some hidden invention of your own, and you know it.

    Miss Pat at School

    Pemberton Ginther

  • When I got fed up on a bunch of simpering women and their, 'ain't he cute?'

    David Lannarck, Midget

    George S. Harney

  • "Hay has got all the money," said the simpering admirer who answered to the name of Tempest.

    The Opal Serpent

    Fergus Hume

  • You might as well be a simpering wax dummy out of a shop window.


    Clara Louise Burnham

British Dictionary definitions for simpering


  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 simpering


1580s, present participle adjective from simper (v.). Related: Simperingly.

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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