[ smahyl ]
See synonyms for: smilesmiledsmilessmiling on

verb (used without object),smiled, smil·ing.
  1. to assume a facial expression indicating pleasure, favor, or amusement, but sometimes derision or scorn, characterized by an upturning of the corners of the mouth.

  2. to regard with favor: Luck smiled on us that night.

  1. to have a pleasant or agreeable appearance or aspect, as natural scenes, objects, etc.: The landscape smiled in the sunlight.

verb (used with object),smiled, smil·ing.
  1. to assume or give (a smile, especially of a given kind): She smiled a warm and friendly smile.

  2. to express by a smile: to smile approval.

  1. to bring, put, drive, etc., by or as by smiling: to smile one's tears away.

  1. the act or an instance of smiling; a smiling expression of the face.

  2. favor or kindly regard: fortune's smile.

  1. a pleasant or agreeable appearance, look, or aspect.

Verb Phrases
  1. smile at,

    • to regard with pleasure or amusement, as with a smile.

    • to regard with mild derision: to smile at someone's affectations.

Origin of smile

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English smyllen (verb); cognate with Old High German smīlan, Danish smile

synonym study For smile

1, 7. See laugh.

Opposites for smile

Other words from smile

  • smileless, adjective
  • smile·less·ly, adverb
  • smile·less·ness, noun
  • smiler, noun
  • smil·ing·ly, adverb
  • half-smiling, adjective
  • half-smil·ing·ly, adverb
  • outsmile, verb (used with object), out·smiled, out·smil·ing.
  • sub·smile, noun
  • un·smil·ing, adjective
  • un·smil·ing·ly, adverb

Words Nearby smile Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use smile in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for smile


/ (smaɪl) /

  1. a facial expression characterized by an upturning of the corners of the mouth, usually showing amusement, friendliness, etc, but sometimes scorn, etc

  2. favour or blessing: the smile of fortune

  1. an agreeable appearance

  1. (intr) to wear or assume a smile

  2. (intr foll by at)

    • to look (at) with a kindly or amused expression

    • to look derisively (at) instead of being annoyed

    • to bear (troubles, etc) patiently

  1. (intr; foll by on or upon) to show approval; bestow a blessing

  2. (tr) to express by means of a smile: she smiled a welcome

  3. (tr often foll by away) to drive away or change by smiling: smile away one's tears

  4. come up smiling to recover cheerfully from misfortune

Origin of smile

C13: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish smila, Danish smile; related to Middle High German smielen

Derived forms of smile

  • smiler, noun
  • smiling, adjective
  • smilingly, adverb
  • smilingness, noun

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with smile


In addition to the idiom beginning with smile

  • smile on

also see:

  • crack a smile

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.