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[smurk] /smɜrk/
verb (used without object)
to smile in an affected, smug, or offensively familiar way.
the facial expression of a person who smirks.
Origin of smirk
before 900; Middle English smirken (v.), Old English sme(a)rcian
Related forms
smirker, noun
smirkingly, adverb
unsmirking, adjective
unsmirkingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for smirk
  • Present are five forms of evil that makes us smile, smirk or chuckle knowingly.
  • We beam when we're cheerful, grin sheepishly when we're guilty, smirk when we're proud.
  • The original smirk that evolved into a grin transformed into a toothy smile.
  • The smirk across your face needs to be wiped pronto.
  • He turns up, with a smirk on his face, looking semi-reluctant to be there.
  • Some might smirk that it is but a fool that will soon find that it was let to buy only to pay for learning.
  • Broderick always gives us a glimpse into the anxious, fragile side of this wide-eyed apple polisher with an ingenuous smirk.
  • The jockey's smirk and the mud covering his face complete the image.
  • The stars were dancing, wheeling and glancing, dipping with smirk and beck.
  • If you arrive in gym clothes or leave your shirt untucked, no one will smirk.
British Dictionary definitions for smirk


a smile expressing scorn, smugness, etc, rather than pleasure
(intransitive) to give such a smile
(transitive) to express with such a smile
Derived Forms
smirker, noun
smirking, adjective
smirkingly, adverb
Word Origin
Old English smearcian; related to smer derision, Old High German bismer contempt, bismerōn to scorn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for smirk

Old English smearcian "to smile." No exact cognates in other languages, but probably related to smerian "to laugh at, scorn," from Proto-Germanic *smer-, *smar-, variant of PIE *smei- "to smile;" see smile (v.), which after c.1500 gradually restricted smirk to the unpleasant sense "smile affectedly; grin in a malicious or smug way." In some 18c. glossaries smirk is still simply "to smile." Related: Smirked; smirking. The noun is recorded by 1560s.


1550s, from smirk (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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