- 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.
- to regard with favor: Luck smiled on us that night.
- to have a pleasant or agreeable appearance or aspect, as natural scenes, objects, etc.: The landscape smiled in the sunlight.
- to assume or give (a smile, especially of a given kind): She smiled a warm and friendly smile.
- to express by a smile: to smile approval.
- to bring, put, drive, etc., by or as by smiling: to smile one's tears away.
- the act or an instance of smiling; a smiling expression of the face.
- favor or kindly regard: fortune's smile.
- a pleasant or agreeable appearance, look, or aspect.
- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for smile on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for unsmiling
I saw their pictures online… two good-looking, strong, unsmiling, young men in front of an American flag.How the Dead Come Home From Afghanistan
May 9, 2014
Boland is an immature kid with a lean, unsmiling face, ice-blue eyes, and wavy blond hair.One Red Rose for the Green Kid Who Won the Kentucky Derby
May 3, 2014
KIEV—They are burly, muscular men, reminiscent of the Soviet era with their strong Slavic features and unsmiling demeanor.Ukraine’s Far Right Eyes Crimea, Vows To Defend The Motherland
March 8, 2014
Leon parked where he was directed, then he and Butch were thoroughly searched by a small battalion of unsmiling guards.John Grisham's First Short Story: Part Two
October 26, 2009
What could be hidden, he thought, beneath the mask of that unsmiling face?Salted With Fire
"I'm all ready to tell you about it now," volunteered the unsmiling Issy.The Portygee
Joseph Crosby Lincoln
Mistress Wilding met him with unsmiling, but not ungentle face.Mistress Wilding
She went to the front door and opened it with an unsmiling face.Good Old Anna
Marie Belloc Lowndes
She saw only friendliness and some dark, unsmiling mood in his.Wayside Courtships
- not wearing or assuming a smile; serious
- a facial expression characterized by an upturning of the corners of the mouth, usually showing amusement, friendliness, etc, but sometimes scorn, etc
- favour or blessingthe smile of fortune
- an agreeable appearance
- (intr) to wear or assume a smile
- (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
- (intr; foll by on or upon) to show approval; bestow a blessing
- (tr) to express by means of a smileshe smiled a welcome
- (tr often foll by away) to drive away or change by smilingsmile away one's tears
- come up smiling to recover cheerfully from misfortune
Word Origin and History for unsmiling
c.1300, perhaps from Middle Low German *smilen or a Scandinavian source (e.g. Danish smile "smile," Swedish smila "smile, smirk, simper, fawn"), from Proto-Germanic *smil-, extended form of PIE root *smei- "to laugh, smile" (cf. Old English smerian "to laugh at, scorn," Old High German smieron "to smile," Latin mirus "wonderful," mirari "to wonder"). Related: Smiled; smiling.
Gradually pushed the usual Old English word, smearcian (modern smirk), into a specific, unpleasant sense. Of the eyes, from 1759. Figuratively, as indicating favor or encouragement, from c.1400. Romance, Celtic, and Slavic languages tend to use a diminutive of the word for "laugh" to mean "smile" (e.g. Latin ridere "laugh;" subridere "smile"), perhaps literally "small laugh" or "low laugh."
1560s, from smile (v.).
Idioms and Phrases with unsmiling
In addition to the idiom beginning with smile
- smile on
- crack a smile