Definition of smile in English:



  • 1 Form one's features into a pleased, kind, or amused expression, typically with the corners of the mouth turned up and the front teeth exposed:

    ‘she was smiling broadly’
    ‘he smiled at Shelley’
    ‘smiling faces’
    • ‘Children smiled at him in the hall but he did not smile back, this was the worst week before Christmas ever.’
    • ‘Kara smiled a big toothy grin at her sister.’
    • ‘She smiled at him, and he smiled back, giving a quick glance at the badge on her chest.’
    • ‘His eyes twinkled and when he smiled, his teeth looked bigger and whiter than ever.’
    • ‘Stephen sat down with Katalina and smiled at her, she smiled back and they began to sing.’
    • ‘He looked me straight in the eyes and smiled, showing a mouth only half full of teeth.’
    • ‘Dean smiled at me causing me to also smile; recently he had a way of doing that to me.’
    • ‘At last he nodded and said, " Thanks, " and she smiled warmly in return.’
    • ‘When he reached there he smiled at the manager, who smiled back, holding out his hand.’
    • ‘They smiled at each other, both knowing that they were smiling because something had changed.’
    • ‘"Awe, you all remembered my birthday, " Ramie smiles with glee.’
    • ‘The man smiled softly in self satisfaction as he took another swig of ale.’
    • ‘The girl smiled even more brightly, showing off her straight teeth.’
    • ‘She nodded at him, and smiled weakly through her tears.’
    • ‘Thinking Rick was on the other end, she smiled from ear to ear.’
    • ‘Raven smiled in the general direction of the child.’
    • ‘Melody smiled in amusement as she remembered the time when they were just children.’
    • ‘He was smiling shyly for the camera and standing behind him was the golden-haired Joseph.’
    • ‘Veronica's mother smiled warmly at the young girl.’
    • ‘The auntie in front turned back and smiled at me while I smiled back sheepishly.’
    grin, beam, grin like a cheshire cat, grin from ear to ear, twinkle
    be all smiles
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with object] Express (a feeling) by smiling:
      ‘he smiled his admiration of the great stone circle’
      • ‘He smiled a friendly hello, but did not offer his assistance in any other way.’
      • ‘I smiled my appreciation as she left and then sunk back into the seat feeling weak.’
      • ‘Reaching out, he moved one unruly black curl away from her left eye and she smiled her thanks.’
      • ‘Clarissa smiled her appreciation of the statement but didn't comment on her flattery anymore.’
    2. 1.2smile at/on/upon Regard favourably or indulgently:
      ‘at first fortune smiled on him’
      • ‘However, fortune smiled upon them, as they had arrived in Nathaal a few hours earlier than expected.’
      • ‘Neither side had won a game this season, but fortune smiled on SCU Yellow, who now climb off the bottom of the ladder and move clear of the unlucky Eagles.’
      • ‘Fortune smiles upon you and the creature drops at your feet.’
      • ‘He wasn't so foolish as to think that fortune smiled on him every day; what if his future was as bright as a flickering street lamp?’
      • ‘Fortune is smiling on you because you will come into an inheritance.’
      • ‘Finally, good fortune is smiling upon the down-but-never-beaten Evans family as they excitedly prepare themselves to move from their hovel of a high-rise homestead and relocate in Mississippi.’
      • ‘Fortune smiled upon him, however, when short story ‘To the Man on Trail’ was published soon after in Overland Monthly in 1899.’
      • ‘Fortune smiled on guests who received prizes in lucky draws throughout the evening.’
      • ‘Kenton was eventually booked for another crude lunge at Paul Weller but Ternent knew fortune was smiling on the defender when he got away with a blatant shove on Robbie Blake five minutes before the break.’
      • ‘However, fortune smiled upon us when we realized that we had sold all of our first shipment of Savoy 2001 Dance Odyssey calendars in Sydney and had some extra cash.’
    3. 1.3often as adjective smilingliterary (especially of landscape) have a bright or pleasing aspect:
      ‘smiling groves and terraces’
      • ‘The Elysian Fields have smiling groves, grass that is always green, the weather is always fine. No one is ever unhappy or ill.’
      • ‘You will find a smiling landscape, a refined gastronomy, personalized rooms and a gentle way of life.’
      • ‘It was the moment where my old skin was shed, and my new scales shimmered in the bright yellow smiling sun.’


  • A pleased, kind, or amused facial expression, typically with the corners of the mouth turned up and the front teeth exposed:

    ‘he flashed his most winning smile’
    ‘she greeted us all with a smile’
    • ‘A wedding that was widely billed as beset by disasters and disapproval became a day of warm smiles, laughter and even the odd decent joke.’
    • ‘The smile is warm and her demeanour friendly and winning.’
    • ‘Out of the corner of his eye he spotted a familiar figure in a long coat and a warm smile.’
    • ‘We're welcomed with a polite smile into a warm, green-gold world.’
    • ‘He nodded and flashed her one of his winning smiles.’
    • ‘A warm smile lifted the corners of her mouth and her golden eyes burned of motherly warmth.’
    • ‘I saw Laura unlocking her car a few feet in front of me, offering me a warm smile.’
    • ‘His smile was warm, a striking contrast from the usual smirk he wore in these hallways of our institution.’
    • ‘One man, however, looked on from his seat in the stand with a knowing smile and a warm sense of satisfaction as he reflected on another job well done.’
    • ‘His warm smile is contagious, as the corners of my mouth involuntarily turn upwards.’
    • ‘But the relationship between the Navy and Portsmouth runs much deeper than sharing good times and exchanging warm smiles.’
    • ‘Lexy place the cloths on the counter as the clerk greeted her with a warm smile as he took the cloths and started to ring them up.’
    • ‘We're also researching how to interpret facial expressions - smiles and frowns - and how to read eyes.’
    • ‘His shimmering bright blue eyes glittered at me from a tanned face, a warm smile showing a row of white teeth.’
    • ‘She gave him the winning smile, which now crinkled her middle-aged face.’
    • ‘Your smile is so warm and beautiful, I felt compelled to put pen to paper and open up to you.’
    • ‘I opened the front door, giving Jack one of my winning smiles.’
    • ‘Jay tried to keep a smile, but his facial muscles weren't strong enough, and he burst out laughing.’
    • ‘She ran her tongue across her perfect front teeth, a smile spreading to her face.’
    • ‘Everyone greeted her with big warm smiles - everyone except me.’
    grin, beam
    smirk, simper
    View synonyms


  • be all smiles

    • informal Look very cheerful and pleased, especially in contrast to a previous mood:

      ‘she was all smiles now that the crisis was over’
      • ‘In contrast, Harrington was all smiles, perfectly at ease with himself and the situation.’
      • ‘Mr. Derek was all smiles and grins for the ladies, and jokes and cuddles for the kids.’
      • ‘Brooklyn Beckham was all smiles today as he emerged from the private hospital where his mother Victoria and new-born brother Romeo were said to be doing well.’
      • ‘Nadine George was all smiles as she accepted this trophy from Sports Minister Mario Michel’
      • ‘Not too impressed when he drew Greece a few weeks ago, however, he was all smiles on Sunday night following their shock Championship win.’
      • ‘But it was all smiles at a parents' evening within two months.’
      • ‘Lydia Cross was all smiles again this week after being rushed to hospital with laryngitis.’
      • ‘For his part, Khan, who was all smiles, expressed his confidence in Imbert's ability to get the job done.’
      • ‘He was all smiles by the time I stumbled into the office on Sunday morning, still in need of a few more hours of sleep.’
      • ‘The waitress was all smiles and sweet to me, and made me feel right at home.’
  • come up smiling

    • informal Recover from adversity and cheerfully face what is to come:

      ‘despite her ordeal courageous Kelly has come up smiling’
      • ‘This city has taught me to persevere and shine and to overcome the toughest of hurdles and still come up smiling.’
      • ‘Overall the film painted a picture of Ireland in the 1930s in which impoverished farmers struggled gamely in difficult conditions but always came up smiling.’
      • ‘It seemed to me that however bad things got, he came up smiling.’
      • ‘The front man has the face of someone who has been to Hell and back, and come up smiling - the sort of face you'll only find in rock and roll bands.’
      • ‘You take your tumbles with good grace and always come up smiling.’
      • ‘He's a working class lad, he's very bright, he makes you smile when you meet him because of his cheek and his ability to come up smiling whatever life throws at him.’
      • ‘His ability to drink from what was seen as a poisoned chalice and come up smiling will stand to him in the challenges that lie ahead.’
      • ‘Above all, they faced life squarely, had the courage and comic gift to investigate the contradictoriness of human nature and come up smiling at what they saw - and, so, make us smile too.’
      • ‘He learned quickly, worked harder than almost everyone else and came up smiling every time.’
      • ‘The sign of a great ride is when you peel yourself off a mud splattered stump after a 30 mph endo and come up smiling.’


Middle English: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; related to smirk.