Emoticon Definition

A combination of typed keyboard characters used, as in e-mail, to represent a stylized face meant to convey the writer's tone: for example, : ) suggests happiness | ; ) suggests irony | : ( suggests sadness.
Webster's New World
A facial glyph, used especially in e-mail and instant messages and sometimes typed sideways, that indicates an emotion or attitude, as [ :-) ] to indicate intended humor.
American Heritage

A graphical representation, either in the form of an image or made up of text characters, of a particular emotion of the writer.


A string of ASCII text characters used after a sentence in e-mails and newsgroup postings intended to represent a facial expression and to convey the sort of emotion that plain text does not otherwise support. Common examples of emoticons (meant to be viewed sideways) include those shown in the following table. EmoticonMeaning :-) or :) or =) Smile or happy ;-) or ;) Winking and smiling :-( Sad :D or :-D or =D Big smile :-0 or :0 or =0 Surprise or shock >:-( Angry >:-) Evil smile 0:-) Innocence (Halo over the head) :-x No comment or My lips are sealed or I shouldn't have said that Common examples of emoticons meant to be viewed without rotation include those shown in the following table. EmoticonMeaning ^_^ Smile or happy ;_; Sad and crying -_Annoyed \\// Peace or live long and prosper (Mr. Spock of Star Trek) \@^@/ or \O^O/ Look closer (glasses) ("\(^_^)/") Big hug See also e-mail, emotag, and newsgroup.

Webster's New World Telecom

Other Word Forms of Emoticon



Origin of Emoticon

  • Blend of emotion and icon

    From Wiktionary

  • emot(ion) icon

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition


Find Similar Words

Find similar words to emoticon using the buttons below.

Words Starting With

Words Ending With