from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A sideways facial glyph used in e-mail to indicate an emotion or attitude, as to indicate intended humor [ :-) ].
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A graphical representation, either in the form of an image or made up of ASCII characters, of a particular emotion of the writer.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a representation of a facial expression (as a smile or frown) created by typing a sequence of characters in sending email
emot(ion) + icon.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Blend of emotion and icon (Wiktionary)