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See more synonyms for smirk on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to smile in an affected, smug, or offensively familiar way.
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  1. 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
Related formssmirk·er, nounsmirk·ing·ly, adverbun·smirk·ing, adjectiveun·smirk·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for smirking

smirk, laugh, grin, beam, shine, radiate, glow, sneer, chortle, chuckle, giggle, frown, contort, scowl, stare, eye, goggle, wink, gloat, ogle

Examples from the Web for smirking

Contemporary Examples of smirking

Historical Examples of smirking

British Dictionary definitions for smirking


  1. a smile expressing scorn, smugness, etc, rather than pleasure
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  1. (intr) to give such a smile
  2. (tr) to express with such a smile
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Derived Formssmirker, nounsmirking, adjectivesmirkingly, adverb

Word Origin for smirk

Old English smearcian; related to smer derision, Old High German bismer contempt, bismerōn to scorn
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 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.

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1550s, from smirk (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper