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A smile that glow'd Celestial rosy red, love's proper hue.
~ John Milton

A smile is formed primarily by flexing the muscles at the sides of the mouth. Some smiles include a contraction of the muscles at the corner of the eyes, an action known as a Duchenne smile. Among humans, a smile expresses delight, sociability, happiness, joy or amusement. It is distinct from a similar but usually involuntary expression of anxiety known as a grimace. Although cross-cultural studies have shown that smiling is a means of communication throughout the world, there are large differences among different cultures, religions and societies, with some using smiles to convey confusion or embarrassment.


A sweet smile and a soft word have usually their desired effect. ~ Letitia Elizabeth Landon
If you smile at me I will understand, cause that is something everybody everywhere does in the same language. ~ Crosby, Stills, & Nash
Some smiles are golden
While some are magical... ~ Lisa Stanfield
  • What's the use of worrying?
    It never was worth while, so
    Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag,
    And smile, smile, smile.
  • Cervantes smiled Spain's chivalry away;
    A single laugh demolished the right arm
    Of his own country;—seldom since that day
    Has Spain had heroes.
  • But owned that smile, if oft observed and near,
    Waned in its mirth, and wither'd to a sneer.
    • Lord Byron, Lara, A Tale (1814), Canto I, Stanza 17, line 11.
  • From thy own smile I snatched the snake.
  • If you smile at me I will understand, cause that is something everybody everywhere does in the same language.
  • In came Mrs. Fezziwig, one vast substantial smile.
  • In the meantime, it just makes it a little harder to smile. But so does the world.
  • Comrades, this man has a nice smile, but he's got iron teeth.
    • Attributed to Andrei Gromyko, speech to the Soviet Communist party central committee, Moscow, March 11, 1985, as reported by The Washington Post (March 17, 1985), p. A1, referring to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. This statement is not found in translations of official materials.
  • The Joker: Now comes the part where I relieve you, the little people, of the burden of your failed and useless lives. But, as my plastic surgeon always said: if you gotta go, go with a smile.
  • And the hall is lone, and the hall is drear,
    For the smiling of woman shineth not here.
  • She had a very agreeable smile; it did not light up her face suddenly, but seemed rather to suffuse it by degrees with charm. It hesitated for a moment about her lips and then slowly travelled to those great shining eyes of hers and there softly lingered.
  • For smiles from reason flow
    To brute deny'd, and are of love the food.
  • If they (children) smash, the flower vase assumes a smile
    while turning into pieces.
    For a chance to be spilled by their hands,
    anything they hold gets spilled itself full of happiness.
    For a chance to play with them,
    water forgets about its own colourlessness.
  • Eternal smiles his emptiness betray,
    As shallow streams run dimpling all the way.
  • With a smile on her lips, and a tear in her eye.
  • Nobly he yokes
    A smiling with a sigh, as if the sigh
    Was that it was, for not being such a smile:
    The smile mocking the sigh, that it would fly
    From so divine a temple, to commix
    With winds that sailors rail at.
  • My tables,—meet it is I set it down,
    That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain;
    At least I'm sure it may be so in Denmark.
  • Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort
    As if he mock'd himself, and scorn'd his spirit
    That could be mov'd to smile at anything.
  • Those happy smilets,
    That play'd on her ripe lip, seem'd not to know
    What guests were in her eyes; which parted thence,
    As pearls from diamonds dropp'd.
  • When you call me that, smile!
    • Owen Wister, The Virginian (1902), p. 29–30. Presumably the forerunner of "Smile when you say that, partner," familiar to generations of moviegoers.
  • A tender smile, our sorrows' only balm.
  • A man I knew who lived upon a smile,
    And well it fed him; he look'd plump and fair,
    While rankest venom foam'd through every vein.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night VIII, line 336.
  • Some smiles are golden
    While some are magical...
    • Lisa Stanfield, All Around The World (Featuring Barry White), Sheet Music.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 721-22.
  • Her very frowns are fairer far
    Than smiles of other maidens are.
  • The smile of her I love is like the dawn
    Whose touch makes Memnon sing:
    O see where wide the golden sunlight flows—
    The barren desert blossoms as the rose!
  • With the smile that was childlike and bland.
    • Bret Harte, Language of Truthful James (Heathen Chinee).
  • Reproof on her lip, but a smile in her eye.
  • Whence that three-cornered smile of bliss?
    Three angels gave me at once a kiss.
  • The thing that goes farthest towards making life worth while,
    That costs the least, and does the most, is just a pleasant smile.
    * * * * * *
    It's full of worth and goodness too, with manly kindness blent,
    It's worth a million dollars and it doesn't cost a cent.
  • The smile that flickers on baby's lips when he sleeps—does anybody know where it was born? Yes, there is a rumor that a young pale beam of a crescent moon touched the edge of a vanishing autumn cloud, and there the smile was first born in the dream of a dew-washed morning.
  • 'Tis easy enough to be pleasant,
    When life flows along like a song;
    But the man worth while is the one who will smile
    When everything goes dead wrong;
    For the test of the heart is trouble,
    And it always comes with the years,
    But the smile that is worth the praise of earth
    Is the smile that comes through tears.
    * * * * *
    But the virtue that conquers passion,
    And the sorrow that hides in a smile—
    It is these that are worth the homage of earth,
    For we find them but once in a while.
  • I feel in every smile a chain.
  • And she hath smiles to earth unknown—
    Smiles that with motion of their own
    Do spread, and sink, and rise.
    • William Wordsworth, I met Louisa in the Shade, Stanza 2. (Afterwards cancelled by him, not found in complete ed. of poems).
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