One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Smile in an irritatingly smug, conceited, or silly way.‘he smirked in triumph’
smile smugly, simper, sniggerView synonyms
- ‘Not only was he smirking and scowling, he was bobbing his head and waving his arms.’
- ‘As the verdicts were read by the jury foreman some of the defendants smiled, smirked and even giggled.’
- ‘I see that a number of the Ministers opposite me are now smiling and smirking.’
- ‘In fact, she is 58 and proud of it, smirking at suggestions she looks a decade younger.’
- ‘The intimidating look from Feror grew fiercer as he smirked with a devious smile.’
A smug, conceited, or silly smile.‘Gloria pursed her mouth in a self-satisfied smirk’
- ‘Those self-satisfied smirks and self-assured snarlings will sooner or later turn to hands begging for forgiveness.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘He grinned, and one of those male, self-satisfied smirks slid onto his face.’
- ‘She smiled with the self-assured smirk of someone who is overly aware of their talents.’
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.
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