A facial expression characterized by an upward curving of the corners of the mouth and indicating pleasure, amusement, or derision.
v. smiled, smil·ing, smiles
1. To have or form a smile.
a. To look with favor or approval: Fortune smiled on our efforts.
b. To express cheerful acceptance or equanimity: We smiled at the bad weather and kept going.
To express with a smile: Grandmother smiled her consent.
[From Middle English smilen, to smile, probably of Scandinavian origin; see smei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.