Definition of smirk in English:



  • Smile in an irritatingly smug, conceited, or silly way.

    ‘he smirked in triumph’
    • ‘In fact, she is 58 and proud of it, smirking at suggestions she looks a decade younger.’
    • ‘As the verdicts were read by the jury foreman some of the defendants smiled, smirked and even giggled.’
    • ‘The intimidating look from Feror grew fiercer as he smirked with a devious smile.’
    • ‘Not only was he smirking and scowling, he was bobbing his head and waving his arms.’
    • ‘I see that a number of the Ministers opposite me are now smiling and smirking.’
    smile smugly, simper, snigger
    smicker, smirtle
    View synonyms


  • A smug, conceited, or silly smile.

    ‘Gloria pursed her mouth in a self-satisfied smirk’
    • ‘This certitude explains to this bigot why he has such a self-satisfied smirk in his photo.’
    • ‘The absence of confident sneers, knowing smirks and sceptical raised eyebrows also makes an enormous difference.’
    • ‘She smiled with the self-assured smirk of someone who is overly aware of their talents.’
    • ‘He grinned, and one of those male, self-satisfied smirks slid onto his face.’
    • ‘Those self-satisfied smirks and self-assured snarlings will sooner or later turn to hands begging for forgiveness.’


Old English sme(a)rcian, from a base shared by smile. The early sense was ‘to smile’; it later gained a notion of smugness or silliness.