big, bright, broad, huge, wide

She had a big smile on her face.

faint, slight, thin, wan, weak
beaming, beatific, cheerful, dazzling, happy, radiant, sunny, warm

the warm smile in his eyes

beautiful, charming, cute (esp. AmE), engaging, friendly, gentle, sweet, winning

She has a beautiful smile.


He had an infectious smile that touched the lives of many people.

disarming, enigmatic, mischievous, mocking, rueful, sardonic, sly, wry

She gave a wry smile.

apologetic, sheepish
encouraging, indulgent, reassuring
easy, ready

She had a keen wit and a ready smile.

fake, fixed, forced
conspiratorial, knowing

a grim smile of satisfaction

humourless/humorless, mirthless

She suppressed a mirthless smile.

goofy (informal, esp. AmE)

He had a goofy smile plastered across his face.

crooked, lopsided
glimmer, hint, trace

A trace of a smile played across her lips.

have, wear

She had a happy smile on her face.

crack, flash (sb), give sb, smile

I don't think he ever cracked a smile.

He flashed her a disarming smile.

She smiled a smile of dry amusement.


She managed a weak smile.


She returned his smile.

hide, suppress

They had to hide their smiles.


Her father forced a smile.

raise (esp. BrE)

Mention of this subject is guaranteed to raise a smile.

fade, freeze, vanish

Her sunny smile vanished as she read the letter.


His smile faltered slightly.

come across sth, come over sth, come to sth

A smile came to her lips.

creep across sth, creep onto sth, creep over sth

A wry smile crept over his face.

cross sth
flicker across sth, flicker on sth, flicker over sth

A faint smile flickered across her face.

light sth up

She got up immediately, a smile lighting up her face.

play about sth (esp. BrE), play across sth, play on sth

A small smile played on his lips.

grow, spread, spread across sth, spread over sth, widen

Her smile grew radiant.

A gentle smile spread over her face.

with a smile

‘Oh, hello!’ he said, with a smile.

smile of

a smile of approval

have a smile on your face

She always has a smile on her face.

bring a smile to sb's face, put a smile on sb's face

It is a beautiful song that puts a smile on your face.

keep the smile off your face

He could hardly keep the smile off his face.

wipe the smile off sb's face

I'm going to wipe that smile off your face (= make you stop thinking this is funny).

be all smiles

Twelve hours later she was all smiles again.

be wreathed in smiles

His face was wreathed in smiles.

(have) a smile plastered across/on your face

The little boy had a smile plastered across his face.

broadly, widely

She put down her tools and smiled broadly.

faintly, slightly, thinly, wanly, weakly

He looked at the mess and smiled weakly.

brightly, dazzlingly, happily, radiantly, warmly

Lawrence nodded, smiling happily.

charmingly, gently, softly, sweetly, winningly
benignly, kindly, politely
merely, simply

I simply smiled at him and said ‘hi!’

encouragingly, indulgently, reassuringly

The doctor smiled reassuringly.

apologetically, sheepishly
ruefully, wryly

Molly smiled rather wryly and said nothing.

archly, enigmatically
mischievously, slyly
humourlessly/humorlessly, mirthlessly
smugly, triumphantly
crookedly, lopsidedly

He winked at her, and she smiled back.


Gary is always smiling—he's so positive.

try to
manage to
make sb

The memory still made her smile.


He turned and smiled at me.


She smiled with pleasure.

smile down at sb, smile up at sb

She smiled up at him.

smile from ear to ear
smile to yourself

She smiled to herself, picturing how surprised her mother would be to see her.

Smile is used with these nouns as the subject: ↑eye, ↑face
Smile is used with these nouns as the object: ↑greeting, ↑grin, ↑smile, ↑thanks

Collocations dictionary. 2013.

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