noun, plural smil·eys. Also called smiley face.
  1. a digital icon, a sequence of keyboard symbols, or a handwritten or printed equivalent, that serves to represent a facial expression, as :‐) for a smiling face or ;‐) for a winking face.Compare emoticon.
  2. Usually smile face. a drawing of a face consisting of a usually yellow circle with an upturned curve for a smile and two dots for eyes.
  1. cheerful; smiling.

Origin of smiley

1985–90 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for smiley face


  1. given to smiling; cheerful
  2. depicting a smilea smiley badge
  1. any of a group of symbols depicting a smile, or other facial expression, used in electronic mail
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 smiley face



also smily, "inclined to smile," 1848, from smile (n.) + -y (2). Smiley-face (n.) is from 1981; as a computer icon from 1987.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper