[ smurk ]
/ sm蓽rk /
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See synonyms for: smirk / smirked / smirking on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object)
to smile in an affected, smug, or offensively familiar way.
the facial expression of a person who smirks.
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Origin of smirk

before 900; Middle English smirken (v.), Old English sme(a)rcian


smirker, nounsmirk路ing路ly, adverbun路smirk路ing, adjectiveun路smirk路ing路ly, adverb

Words nearby smirk

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2023


What does聽smirk mean?

A smirk is a kind of smile, but it鈥檚 not a friendly smile鈥攊t鈥檚 often a sarcastic or arrogant one or one that鈥檚 intended to provoke or irritate the person who sees it.

Smirk is also a verb that means to smile in such a way. People often smirk to show contempt for someone or something鈥攕uch as by smirking at a person who鈥檚 angry at them.

Sometimes, though, the word simply refers to a kind of slight smile or a smile that looks like a smirk usually does鈥攁 baby might smirk, for example, obviously without meaning anything by it.

Example: Wipe that smirk off your face and take this seriously!

Where does聽smirk come from?

The first records of smirk come from before 900. It comes from the Old English smearcian, which is related to the Old English smer, meaning 鈥derision.鈥 It鈥檚 also related to the Old High German words bismer, 鈥渃ontempt,鈥 and bismer艒n, 鈥渢o scorn.鈥

A smirk doesn鈥檛 usually look like a real smile, because it isn鈥檛. People smile due to happiness or amusement, but a smirk is often a weaponized smile. People usually smirk because they鈥檙e trying to annoy someone, especially a person who鈥檚 already upset. People sometimes smirk at the person who is scolding them to show that they鈥檙e really not taking it seriously. Such a smirk is often intended to indicate that the person who鈥檚 doing the scolding can鈥檛 really do anything about it, and that amuses the smirking person. The expression 鈥渨ipe that smirk off your face鈥 is often used in response to situations like this.

A smirk can also indicate that someone is smug or self-satisfied. Some people smirk all the time because they see everything and everyone else as a joke鈥攚hich is another way of saying that they鈥檙e contemptuous.

But not only jerks smirk. Less commonly, a smirk might be a slight smile, like the kind you get when you think of something funny in a setting where you shouldn鈥檛 be laughing or smiling to yourself.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms of smirk?

  • smirkingly (adverb)
  • smirking (adjective)
  • smirker (noun)

What are some synonyms for smirk?

What are some words that often get used in discussing smirk?


How is聽smirk used in real life?

Smirk is almost always used negatively, unless it鈥檚 simply referring to a smile that looks like a smirk.



Try using聽smirk!

Which of the following words would NOT usually be used to describe a smirk?

A. genuine
B. sarcastic
C. smug
D. contemptuous

How to use smirk in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for smirk

/ (sm蓽藧k) /

a smile expressing scorn, smugness, etc, rather than pleasure
(intr) to give such a smile
(tr) to express with such a smile

Derived forms of smirk

smirker, nounsmirking, adjectivesmirkingly, adverb

Word Origin for smirk

Old English smearcian; related to smer derision, Old High German bismer contempt, bismer艒n to scorn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012