Emoji Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

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The great world wide web has immensely changed the way people communicate. Since body language and verbal tone don’t exactly translate in our emails or text messages, we’ve created alternate ways to convey nuanced meanings. The most revolutionary change to our online style has been the addition of one new-age hieroglyphic language — emojis

Interested in learning more? We’ve got you covered. Read on to discover all there is to know about the beloved emoji. 

What Is the Definition of Emoji?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, our word of the day refers to a small digital image used in text fields in electronic communication (as in email, text messages, and social media) to express an idea or emotion. 

What Are Popular Emojis and What Do They Mean?

Now that you know what our word of the day means, let’s take a look at some popular emojis, shall we?

Common Smiley Faces

  • Smiling Face with Halo Emoji or 😇 — this emoji is not only used to represent blessings, prayers, and angels but it is also used to express angelic behavior as well as good deeds
  • Smirking Face Emoji or 😏 — this emoji is used to express your admiration for someone, perhaps a bit flirtatious, or even convey a sexual innuendo
  • Angry Face Emoji or 😡— use this emoji to express anger from disgust and outrage to irritation and grumpiness 
  • Face With Tears Of Joy Emoji or 😂 — not to be confused with the crying face; this emoji expresses extreme happiness and joy
  • Grimacing Face Emoji or 😬 — used to express embarrassment, awkwardness, and most commonly, nervousness
  • Person Facepalming Emoji or 🤦 — just like you may do in real life, send this emoji to your friends when you want them to know your slight frustration at their inability to grasp the situation 
  • Upside-Down Face Emoji or 🙃 — this emoji is just a more whimsical take on the classic happy face emoji
  • Angry Face with Horns Emoji or 👿 — a tad more menacing than its counterpart, the smiling face with horns emoji. This emoji is used to express devilish and downright awful behavior
  • Astonished Face Emoji or 😲 — use this emoji to express feelings of admiration and concern
  • Loudly Crying Face Emoji or 😭 — used to express inconsolable grief but can also be used to show an overwhelming sense of pride, laughter, and joy 
  • Sad Eyes Emoji (aka Pleading Face) or 🥺 — used to convey sympathy, sadness, guilt, cuteness, and even arousal 
  • Face with Rolling Eyes Emoji or 🙄 — used to express disdain or boredom in a playful and sarcastic tone
  • Smiling Face with Heart-Eyes Emoji or 😍 — commonly used to express overly enthusiastic feelings of adoration, infatuation, and love

Less Common Smiley Faces

  • Grinning Face with Smiling Eyes Emoji or 😁 — used to show well-natured amusement and happiness 
  • Unamused Face Emoji or 😒 — used to express various negative emotions 
  • Slightly Smiling Face Emoji or 🙂 — while this is a happy gesture, it’s often used ironically 
  • Frowning Face With Open Mouth or 😦 — this emoji has a wide range of meanings, from concern and disappointment to amazement and a mild sense of sadness 
  • Grinning Face with Big Eyes Emoji or 😃 — this happy-go-lucky emoji is most commonly used to convey good-natured amusement and a general sense of happiness 
  • Sad but Relieved Face Emoji or 😥 — commonly used to express sadness and mild degrees of frustration 
  • Neutral Face Emoji or 😐 — used to express a neutral stance on the topic at hand as well as feelings of slight irritation or a deadpan sense of humor 
  • Winking Face Emoji or 😉 — don’t confuse this emoji with the smirking face emoji (which is generally used for a more naughty tone); the winking face emoji is used to convey a general sense of positivity 
  • Rolling on the Floor Laughing Emoji or 🤣 — as the name indicates, this emoji is used when your conversation has you rolling on the floor with laughter
  • Pensive Face Emoji or 😔 — used to express a variety of disappointed or sad emotions to others

Hand Emojis

  • Thumbs Up Emoji or 👍🏾 — used to indicate approval and/or a quick way to say, “You got it, dude!” 
  • Clapping Hands Emoji or 👏 — this emoji is most commonly used in succession to express a round of applause towards your peers
  • Nail Polish Emoji or 💅 — though you may use it to let your friend know you got a fresh set, this emoticon is more commonly used to convey indifference towards the topic at hand
  • Pile of Poo Emoji or 💩 — though it may look like a touch of chocolate-flavored soft-serve, this pile of poo emoji represents trips to the bathroom; however, more often than not, it is used in a more whimsical, happy, and downright silly tone

Nature and Animal Emojis:

  • Alien Monster Emoji or 👾 — this cute, tentacled space creature is frequently used to represent topics concerning outer space, retro gaming, and all topics on extraterrestrial life.
  • Pouting Cat Emoji or 😾 — this cartoonist rendering of the classic pouting face emoji, both of which are used to express varying degrees of hate, anger, or rage 

Food & Drink Emojis:

  • Soft Ice Cream Emoji or 🍦 — The soft ice cream emoji resembles a wafer-style cone with a perfect swirl of soft vanilla served atop it. However, the design of Facebook’s soft ice cream emoji more aptly resembles soft strawberry serve. This emoji is generally used for all sorts of tasty frozen treats, not just ice cream and soft-serve frozen yogurt
  • Red Apple Emoji, also known as the Red Delicious Apple Emoji 🍎— this emoji is commonly associated with the state of New York within the United States, as well as teachers and doctors

Symbols as Emojis:

  • Red Heart Emoji or ❤️— this is the classic heart emoji and is used to express romance, or I love you
  • Sparkle Heart Emoji or 💖 — an alternative to the classic heart emoji; additionally, this emoji was officially made a part of Unicode 6.10 back in 2010
  • Sparkles emoji or ✨ — this emoji is commonly used to indicate a wide variety of sentiments from happiness and gratitude to excitement. For Twitter’s mobile app, users toggle between viewing their top tweets and tweets on their timeline by clicking the sparkle emoji.

A Final Word

From a Japanese word that literally means “picture letter,” emojis can help spice up your texts, emails, and social media posts. 

Defined as a pictogram, ideogram, logogram, or smiley used in electronic messages and web pages, the primary use of emoji is to fill in emotional cues otherwise missing from typed conversation.  


emoji noun – Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes | Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary at OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com

Emoji Archives | Dictionary.com

Emoji definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary