emoticon

An emoticon is a typed series of characters that resembles a facial expression and expresses some emotion. You might use an emoticon in an email, a text message, or in an explanation of the word emoticon :) .

Most emoticons are flipped on their side, like the classic smiley face emoticon, which looks like this: :-) or like this: :) and expresses happiness or playfulness. If you want to send a subtle message like "Just kidding," or "Ha ha," you might use a winking emoticon like this one: ;). Emoticons help lend a specific tone or mood to a message. The word emoticon, a combination of emotion and icon, first appeared in 1994.

Definitions of emoticon
  1. noun
    a representation of a facial expression (as a smile or frown) created by typing a sequence of characters in sending email
    “:-( and :-) are emoticons
    see moresee less
    types:
    smiley
    an emoticon of a smiling face
    type of:
    facial expression, facial gesture
    a gesture executed with the facial muscles
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