Difference Between Smile and Smirk


Main Differences

The main difference between smile and smirk is that smile is a pleased, genuine, and amused facial expression which expresses happiness whereas smirk is a kind of smile which is uneven, smug, sarcastic, half-hearted, normally related to self-satisfaction and expresses arrogance.

Smile vs. Smirk

Smile and smirk are two different forms of facial expressions. Smile is an amused, appealing and kind facial expression. Smirk is a smile that shows self-satisfaction and feelings of arrogance. Smile is used as a universal welcoming act on the contrast is a feeling of pleasure on other’s misfortune.

Smile is a satisfying inner emotion. On the contrary, smirk implies when you think yourself better than the person in front of you. Smile is comprised of one’s face as a result of flexing muscles of mouth without the process of vocalization by showing front teeth on the other side smirk is a crooked smile that is scornful and shows proud.


Smile is a feeling of pleasure, inner happiness, and amusements while relaxing one’s self while smirk is the temporary feeling of happiness, which is not genuine and usually disappear within no time. Smile is for all while, on the other hand, the smirk is a little bit personal matter.

With a smile, you are pleased by yourself, and by adding this, you are also providing reasons for others to pleased too. But with smirk there’s a feeling of selfishness is normally seemed and one’s gets pleasure on other’s bad luck. Smile is a positive feeling; rather, the smirk is sarcastic. A smile spread positivity. Smirk is a little bit negative feeling.


Moreover, a smile makes people happy. Smirk makes people conscious. Smile is a friendly expression. The smirk is less friendly. Smile is also known as a grin. The smirk is insolent, conceited and contemptuous.

Comparison Chart

Smile is a kind, amused, and genuine expressionA smirk is an uneven, sarcastic and self-satisfied smile
Facial Expressions
Teeth are exposed, lips turn upward, and eyes contract.Teeth are not exposed, one side of lip turns up, and eyes get normal
Pleased, happyPleased with own self, scorn, smugness,
GenuineSarcastic/ half-hearted

What is Smile?

A smile is a pleasing and appealing and refreshing expression on one’s face. It is the universal welcome. It usually expresses happiness and positive feelings. It is also known as a grin. While smiling lips stretch upward, teeth are exposed in case of extreme happiness and eyes contracts a little bit.

Smile is the inner feeling of happiness. It is rather genuine. It spreads positivity. It is in a more friendly way. It is the feeling of amusement and extreme happiness. It is a moment of pleasure that enhances the positive feelings of a human being. The way of smiling varies from person to person and on the level of their happiness.

One smiles when he\she feels good and have the feeling of getting something more in a good manner. Smile is used not only for inner satisfaction, but it can also be shown on other’s face as well. Whenever you smile you are also giving others reasons to smile. It is a pleasant way of stretching your lips while having a spark in your eyes.

A smile can be of different kinds. Some people smile in a very light way while the other has laughter in their smiles. It has many advantages as well. One can enjoy other’s good attitudes when he\she passes a smile. The smile may also result in the form of getting goods with positive behavior. A smile can heal the pain of someone to some extent.

By passing a smile you can pass positive vibes. A smile means to stretch the corner of our mouth when we have feelings of happiness, or we are trying to be friendly and considering something funny.


  • A smile appeared on her face when her little daughter started walking for the first time.
  • She always wears a smile on her face that appeals to others.

What is Smirk?

The smirk is a type of smile which shows arrogance. It is conceited and a little bit rude and offensive. You smirk which you have the feeling of self-satisfaction and to be proud. It is rather a particular smile often used in that situation in which you are trying to consider oneself superior to others.

To smirk is an equal opportunity activity and less to do with genuine happiness. A smirk falls into the category of fakeness when you are not smiling but showing off. It is more to do with arrogance and smugness.

While usually smirking, one side of the lips curl upward, and teeth are not shown. A smirk is setting you free. It can be in result of revenge taking activity and considered half-smile. It is sarcastically taken as half-hearted and possessed a little bit of negativity. It can be used not to please others but to challenge others.

The smirk is not a result of being funny. It is less friendly, scornful and often considered a silly smile. It is also known as half-smile normally. It has not any prominent effect on one’s eyes. By passing a smirk one passes negative vibes.

The word smirk has a negative connotation. It has temporary feelings of happiness. A person smirks when he feels pleasure or happiness on other’s bad luck. Its emotion is different from the smile. A person smirks when he\she is pleased with him\herself. It is insolent and contemptuous.


  • A smirk is a conceited smile you might get after you defeated your opponent.
  • He takes one look at the smirk on his face.

Key Differences

  1. Smile is a pleased, genuine, and amused facial expression which expresses happiness whereas smirk is a kind of smile which is uneven, smug, sarcastic, half-hearted, normally related to self-satisfaction and expresses arrogance.
  2. Smile is when you curl your lips on the upward direction for the sake of showing happiness; whereas smirk is when you curl one side of your lips for the sake of showing attitude.
  3. Smile is a word having a positive connotation, whereas smirk is a word having a negative connotation.
  4. Smile is more friendly; conversely, the smirk is less friendly.
  5. Smile is a universally welcomed term; on the flip side, the smirk is rather a conservative term.
  6. A smile expresses happiness; on the contrarily, smirk expresses smugness.
  7. Smile normally related to inner satisfaction; on the other side, the smirk is related to self-satisfaction and termed as self-centered.
  8. Smile occurs when one pleased with others as well, while smirk occurs when one is pleased with himself.
  9. Smile is a more friendly gesture inversely smirk a less friendly gesture.


Smile and smirk are two different forms of showing happiness. Originally, these two smile forms interchangeably referred to smile. As from the above discussion, we can easily understand that these two terms are different in their use, function and many other aspects as well.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson