From Middle English smilen (“to smile”), from Old Norse *smíla (“to smile”), from Proto-Germanic *smīlijaną, *smirōną (“to smile”), from Proto-Indo-European *smey- (“to laugh, be glad, wonder”).
Cognate with Danish smile, Swedish smila, Faroese smíla (“to smile”); also Saterland Frisian smielje (“to smile”), Low German smielen (“to smile”), Dutch smuilen (“to smile”), Middle High German smielen (“to smile”). Related also to Old High German smierōn (“to smile”), Old English smerian (“to laugh at”), Old English smercian, smearcian ("to smile"; > English smirk), Latin miror (“to wonder at”).
smile (plural smiles)
- A facial expression comprised by flexing the muscles of both ends of one's mouth, often showing the front teeth, without vocalisation, and in humans is a common involuntary or voluntary expression of happiness, pleasure, amusement, goodwill, or anxiety.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:smile
- She's got a perfect smile.
- He has a sinister smile.
- She had a smile on her face.
- He always puts a smile on my face.
- 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter V, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
- Then came a maid with hand-bag and shawls, and after her a tall young lady. […] She looked around expectantly, and recognizing Mrs. Cooke's maid […] Miss Thorn greeted her with a smile which greatly prepossessed us in her favor.
- 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
- Captain Edward Carlisle, soldier as he was, martinet as he was, felt a curious sensation of helplessness seize upon him as he met her steady gaze, her alluring smile; he could not tell what this prisoner might do.
- (figurative) Favour; propitious regard.
- the smile of the gods
- (slang, dated) A drink bought by one person for another.
- Synonym: treat
smile (third-person singular simple present smiles, present participle smiling, simple past and past participle smiled)
- (transitive, intransitive) To have (a smile) on one's face.
- When you smile, the whole world smiles with you.
- I don't know what he's smiling about.
- She smiles a beautiful smile.
- 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter VII, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
- “ […] This is Mr. Churchill, who, as you are aware, is good enough to come to us for his diaconate, and, as we hope, for much longer; and being a gentleman of independent means, he declines to take any payment.” Saying this Walden rubbed his hands together and smiled contentedly.
- 1969, Mike d'Abo (lyrics and music), “Handbags & Gladrags”, performed by Rod Stewart:
- Once I was a young man / And all I thought I had to do was smile
- 1997, Carlin, George, Brain Droppings, New York: Hyperion Books, →ISBN, →LCCN, →OCLC, →OL, page 70:
- If a man smiles all the time he's probably selling something that doesn't work.
- 2019 December 18, Paul Stephen, “This is the best job I've ever had”, in Rail, page 52:
- She adds: "We have two mottos at Kingston which we've stuck to the window in the ticket office. One says 'If you can be anything in the world then be kind', while the other reads: 'Smile while you've still got teeth'.
- (transitive) To express by smiling.
- 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter II, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
- I had occasion […] to make a somewhat long business trip to Chicago, and on my return […] I found Farrar awaiting me in the railway station. He smiled his wonted fraction by way of greeting, […], and finally leading me to his buggy, turned and drove out of town. I was completely mystified at such an unusual proceeding.
- to smile consent, or a welcome
- (intransitive) To express amusement, pleasure, or love and kindness.
- 1816, Lord Byron, “Canto III”, in Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. Canto the Third, London: Printed for John Murray, […], →OCLC, stanza I:
- When last I saw thy young blue eyes, they smiled.
- (intransitive) To look cheerful and joyous; to have an appearance suited to excite joy.
- The sun smiled down from a clear summer sky.
- 1717, Alexander Pope, “Eloisa to Abelard”, in The Works of Mr. Alexander Pope, volume (please specify |volume=I or II), London: […] W[illiam] Bowyer, for Bernard Lintot, […], published 1717, →OCLC:
- (intransitive) To be propitious or favourable; to countenance.
- The gods smiled on his labours.
From Old Norse *smíla (“to smile”), from Proto-Germanic *smīlijaną, *smirōną (“to smile”), from Proto-Indo-European *smey- (“to laugh, be glad, wonder”).
smile (imperative smil, infinitive at smile, present tense smiler, past tense smilede, perfect tense har smilet)
- to smile
From Old Norse *smíla (“to smile”).
smile (imperative smil, present tense smiler, simple past smilte, past participle smilt, present participle smilende)
- smil (noun)
- “smile” in The Bokmål Dictionary.
- English terms derived from Proto-Indo-European
- English terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *(s)mey-
- English terms inherited from Middle English
- English terms derived from Middle English
- English terms derived from Old Norse
- English terms derived from Proto-Germanic
- English 1-syllable words
- English 2-syllable words
- English terms with IPA pronunciation
- English terms with audio links
- Rhymes:English/aɪl/1 syllable
- English lemmas
- English nouns
- English countable nouns
- English terms with usage examples
- English terms with quotations
- English slang
- English dated terms
- English verbs
- English transitive verbs
- English intransitive verbs
- en:Facial expressions
- Danish terms inherited from Old Norse
- Danish terms derived from Old Norse
- Danish terms inherited from Proto-Germanic
- Danish terms derived from Proto-Germanic
- Danish terms derived from Proto-Indo-European
- Danish terms with IPA pronunciation
- Danish terms with audio links
- Rhymes:Danish/iːlə/2 syllables
- Danish lemmas
- Danish verbs
- Norwegian Bokmål terms inherited from Old Norse
- Norwegian Bokmål terms derived from Old Norse
- Norwegian Bokmål lemmas
- Norwegian Bokmål verbs
- Norwegian Bokmål terms with usage examples