What Does :) Mean?

image of :) emoticon

The symbol :) is an emoticon that represents a smiling face. It is generally used to convey happiness, approval, or good vibes. When viewed sideways, the colon ":" acts as the eyes, and the right parenthesis ")" acts as the mouth, creating a simplistic representation of a smiling face. It is one of the most widely recognized emoticons and is still used in various forms of digital communication, such as text messages, emails, and social media posts.

Emoticons like :) have been largely supplemented by more sophisticated emojis, which are graphical symbols that accomplish the same purpose, but can be more nuanced and varied. However, due to its simplicity and near-universal recognition, the classic :) still enjoys widespread use.
image of :-) emoticon

:) signifies the same as the version with a hyphen ":-)". In fact, the hyphenated version is a bit older and was more commonly used in the early days of the internet and SMS text messaging. Over time, as the need for brevity increased and, as emojis began to take over, the simpler :) became more popular. Both versions are understood to signify the same emotions and are generally interchangeable.

Image for :)

When I write :), I mean this:

meaning of :)

:) represents a "smiley face."

Summary of Key Points

"Smiling Face" is the most common definition for :) on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Definition:Smiling Face
Guessability:guessability level 1
1: Easy to guess
Typical Users:typical user

Adults, Teenagers, and Under 13s

An Academic Look at :)

image for academic look at :) :) is classified as emoticon. Emoticons are a way to show emotion in text-based communication. They consist of a small group of symbols arranged to show emotions, such as happiness, sadness, anger, and others, using the letters, numbers, and symbols usually found on a standard keyboard in a typographic approximation of the desired illustration.

Emoticons have largely been made redundant on most messaging apps, as users now have access to a large number of emojis and most emoticons are automatically replaced with the corresponding emoji.

Happy emoticons are alternatively known as a "smileys" or "smiley faces."

Example of :) Used in a Text

author logo

This page is maintained by the Cyber Definitions Editorial Team.

Help Us Improve Cyber Definitions

  • Do you disagree with something on this page?
  • Did you spot a typo?
  • Do you know a slang term that we've missed?
Please tell us using this form.


Try our fun quiz to test your knowledge of slang and texting abbreviations.
gold cup

gold cup

gold cup

  • This test has questions.
  • A correct answer is worth 5 points.
  • You can get up to 5 bonus points for a speedy answer.
  • Some questions demand more than one answer. You must get every part right.
  • Beware! Wrong answers score 0 points.
  • 🏆 If you beat one of the top 3 scores, you will be invited to apply for the Hall of Fame.
Scoring System

Cyber Guru (+)
Cyber Hero (+)
Cyber Captain (+)
Cyber Sergeant (+)
Cyber Recruit (+)