Definition of smile in English:



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  • 1Form 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’
    • ‘The auntie in front turned back and smiled at me while I smiled back sheepishly.’
    • ‘His eyes twinkled and when he smiled, his teeth looked bigger and whiter than ever.’
    • ‘She nodded at him, and smiled weakly through her tears.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When he reached there he smiled at the manager, who smiled back, holding out his hand.’
    • ‘He was smiling shyly for the camera and standing behind him was the golden-haired Joseph.’
    • ‘Dean smiled at me causing me to also smile; recently he had a way of doing that to me.’
    • ‘The girl smiled even more brightly, showing off her straight teeth.’
    • ‘The man smiled softly in self satisfaction as he took another swig of ale.’
    • ‘"Awe, you all remembered my birthday, " Ramie smiles with glee.’
    • ‘Raven smiled in the general direction of the child.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Thinking Rick was on the other end, she smiled from ear to ear.’
    • ‘Veronica's mother smiled warmly at the young girl.’
    • ‘Melody smiled in amusement as she remembered the time when they were just children.’
    • ‘At last he nodded and said, " Thanks, " and she smiled warmly in return.’
    • ‘She smiled at him, and he smiled back, giving a quick glance at the badge on her chest.’
    • ‘They smiled at each other, both knowing that they were smiling because something had changed.’
    grin, beam, grin like a cheshire cat, grin from ear to ear, twinkle
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Express (a feeling) by smiling.
      ‘he smiled his admiration of the great stone circle’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I smiled my appreciation as she left and then sunk back into the seat feeling weak.’
      • ‘He smiled a friendly hello, but did not offer his assistance in any other way.’
    2. 1.2smile at/on/upon Regard favourably or indulgently.
      ‘at first fortune smiled on him’
      • ‘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 on guests who received prizes in lucky draws throughout the evening.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Fortune is smiling on you because you will come into an inheritance.’
      • ‘Fortune smiles upon you and the creature drops at your feet.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Fortune smiled upon him, however, when short story ‘To the Man on Trail’ was published soon after in Overland Monthly in 1899.’
      • ‘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?’
    3. 1.3literary (especially of landscape) have a bright or pleasing aspect.
      ‘each meadow blossom'd, and each valley smil'd’
      • ‘It was the moment where my old skin was shed, and my new scales shimmered in the bright yellow smiling sun.’
      • ‘You will find a smiling landscape, a refined gastronomy, personalized rooms and a gentle way of life.’
      • ‘The Elysian Fields have smiling groves, grass that is always green, the weather is always fine. No one is ever unhappy or ill.’


  • 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.’
    • ‘But the relationship between the Navy and Portsmouth runs much deeper than sharing good times and exchanging warm smiles.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He nodded and flashed her one of his winning smiles.’
    • ‘I saw Laura unlocking her car a few feet in front of me, offering me a warm smile.’
    • ‘We're also researching how to interpret facial expressions - smiles and frowns - and how to read eyes.’
    • ‘She gave him the winning smile, which now crinkled her middle-aged face.’
    • ‘His shimmering bright blue eyes glittered at me from a tanned face, a warm smile showing a row of white teeth.’
    • ‘She ran her tongue across her perfect front teeth, a smile spreading to her face.’
    • ‘Jay tried to keep a smile, but his facial muscles weren't strong enough, and he burst out laughing.’
    • ‘Your smile is so warm and beautiful, I felt compelled to put pen to paper and open up to you.’
    • ‘His smile was warm, a striking contrast from the usual smirk he wore in these hallways of our institution.’
    • ‘A warm smile lifted the corners of her mouth and her golden eyes burned of motherly warmth.’
    • ‘His warm smile is contagious, as the corners of my mouth involuntarily turn upwards.’
    • ‘We're welcomed with a polite smile into a warm, green-gold world.’
    • ‘Out of the corner of his eye he spotted a familiar figure in a long coat and a warm smile.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Everyone greeted her with big warm smiles - everyone except me.’
    • ‘I opened the front door, giving Jack one of my winning smiles.’
    grin, beam
    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’
      • ‘Mr. Derek was all smiles and grins for the ladies, and jokes and cuddles for the kids.’
      • ‘In contrast, Harrington was all smiles, perfectly at ease with himself and the situation.’
      • ‘But it was all smiles at a parents' evening within two months.’
      • ‘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’
      • ‘The waitress was all smiles and sweet to me, and made me feel right at home.’
      • ‘For his part, Khan, who was all smiles, expressed his confidence in Imbert's ability to get the job done.’
      • ‘Lydia Cross was all smiles again this week after being rushed to hospital with laryngitis.’
      • ‘Not too impressed when he drew Greece a few weeks ago, however, he was all smiles on Sunday night following their shock Championship win.’
      • ‘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.’
  • come up smiling

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

      ‘despite her ordeal courageous Kelly has come up smiling’
      • ‘He learned quickly, worked harder than almost everyone else and came up smiling every time.’
      • ‘It seemed to me that however bad things got, he came 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You take your tumbles with good grace and always come up smiling.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This city has taught me to persevere and shine and to overcome the toughest of hurdles and still come up smiling.’


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