verb (used without object)

to smile in a silly, self-conscious way.

verb (used with object)

to say with a simper.


a silly, self-conscious smile.


Nearby words

  1. simonson,
  2. simony,
  3. simoom,
  4. simp,
  5. simpatico,
  6. simpering,
  7. simple,
  8. simple absence,
  9. simple algebraic extension,
  10. simple arc

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for simpering

British Dictionary definitions for simpering



(intr) to smile coyly, affectedly, or in a silly self-conscious way
(tr) to utter (something) in a simpering manner


a simpering smile; smirk
Derived Formssimperer, nounsimpering, adjective, nounsimperingly, adverb

Word Origin for simper

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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper