- to smile in an affected, smug, or offensively familiar way.
- the facial expression of a person who smirks.
Origin of smirk
Examples from the Web for smirking
A smirking Ramone is shown wearing both a CBGB shirt and heavy gold chains, posing next to an enormous boombox.‘All Good Cretins Go to Heaven’: Dee Dee Ramone’s Twisted Punk Paintings
December 15, 2014
Yet, after months of backdoor negotiations there was Xi, stone-facedly shaking hands with a smirking Abe.Beijing’s ‘Star Trek’ APEC Summit
November 11, 2014
He told me to enter while smirking, knowing full well my intentions.Cocaine, Politicians and Wives: Inside the World’s Most Bizarre Prison
October 12, 2014
No character this year is more volatile and unpredictable; you never know what the hunched-over, smirking Quell will do next.The Daily Beast’s Oscar Nominees: Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway & More
January 4, 2013
Maria is the first “political criminal” in the family, she says, smirking between puffs of her cigarette.Russia’s Opposition Movement Starts to Crack
November 14, 2012
Stevens defended—bad, bad, bad, smirking all the while with small faceti.The Manxman
What does that little man mean by smirking in that fashion,—who is he?Davenport Dunn, Volume 1 (of 2)
Charles James Lever
He had one arm round her neck, and she was holding his other hand and smirking.Sketches in Lavender, Blue and Green
Jerome K. Jerome
Tarling put the girl from him and looked at the smirking manager.The Daffodil Mystery
Then, smirking at his friends, he made his way towards the door.The Island Pharisees
- a smile expressing scorn, smugness, etc, rather than pleasure
- (intr) to give such a smile
- (tr) to express with such a smile
Word Origin and History for smirking
Old English smearcian "to smile." No exact cognates in other languages, but probably related to smerian "to laugh at, scorn," from Proto-Germanic *smer-, *smar-, variant of PIE *smei- "to smile;" see smile (v.), which after c.1500 gradually restricted smirk to the unpleasant sense "smile affectedly; grin in a malicious or smug way." In some 18c. glossaries smirk is still simply "to smile." Related: Smirked; smirking. The noun is recorded by 1560s.
1550s, from smirk (v.).