from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- intransitive v. To smile in a silly, self-conscious, often coy manner.
- transitive v. To utter or express with a silly, self-conscious, often coy smile: simpered a lame excuse.
- n. A silly, self-conscious, often coy smile.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To smile in a foolish, frivolous, self-conscious, coy, or smug manner.
- n. A foolish, frivolous, self-conscious, or affected smile; a smirk.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- intransitive v. To smile in a silly, affected, or conceited manner.
- intransitive v. To glimmer; to twinkle.
- n. A constrained, self-conscious smile; an affected, silly smile; a smirk.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- An obsolete or dialectal variant of simmer.
- To smile in an affected, silly manner; smirk.
- To twinkle; glimmer.
- Synonyms Simper and Smirk both express smiling; the primary idea of the first is silliness or simplicity; that of the second is affectation or conceit. The simplicity in simpering may be affected; the affectation in smirking may be of softness or of kindness.
- n. An affected, conscious smile; a smirk.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a silly self-conscious smile
- v. smile affectedly or derisively
Perhaps of Scandinavian origin.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Origin uncertain; compare (probably from) Danish simper / semper ("coy"), German zimper ("elegant, dainty"). (Wiktionary)