The Russian word for to make someone laugh is рассмешить. Is there a valid (related) word for to make someone smile?

I sometimes see word улыбнуть, however I believe it's a colloquial expression. Also, while рассмешить (in past tense) can be used with masculine, feminine and neuter case (e.g. он рассмешил весь отдел), every (rare) time I saw улыбнуть, it was in neuter. Just saying it out loud, меня улыбнуло что-то в этой статье sounds better than меня улыбнула эта статья. Yet, both sound somewhat weird.

So, does a word like that exist? If yes, what is it?

  • In examples like "меня улыбнуло, как он разговаривает, как он себя ведёт" this verb seems to express sympathy. - by @Света
    – Olga
    Nov 7, 2012 at 18:40
  • 1
    I only started seeing the word улыбнуть somewhere in the 2000-s. It's very unofficial.
    – jkff
    Nov 8, 2012 at 12:24

2 Answers 2


The verb улыбнуть is a colloquial expression, which means that something was funny, but didn't quite make you laugh. It's currently a part of Internet argot. However, as one can conclude from Wikitionary, it has been around for a century at least.

To portray the meaning "make someone smile" you could use развеселить "bring one into a good mood, make one want to laugh", порадовать "make one feel glad", or позабавить "amuse".

You can also say заставить улыбнуться or вызвать (у кого-либо) улыбку. In particular, Эта статья вызвала у меня улыбку is a perfectly correct and natural Russian sentence.

More examples from Rapr Oid:

Забавные прыжки мопса вокруг дерева вызвали у него улыбку.
Несмотря на его подавленное настроение, ее смех вызвал и в нем подобие улыбки.
Комичность манеры, в которой Франк процитировал Элли, заставила Дэна улыбнуться.


Correct form of Улыбаться (to smile) not used in this form literally. Улыбнуло - It made me smile Улыбнул - He made me smile

Correctly is Вызвал у меня улыбку, заставил меня улыбаться, подарил мне улыбку, or using simillar words like рассмешил (more exciting version),развеселил (less exciting version) which have this form literally. Это меня развеселило Он меня рассмешил

Улыбнуть is only for non-official usage, mostly internet

  • Welcome to Russian Language and Usage Beta! While probably being legit, your answer does not seem to add to the answers given by the other users. If you want to support one of the answers given earlier, please up-vote it rather then repost.
    – Quassnoi
    Nov 8, 2012 at 10:58

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.