- small pieces; bits: broken into smithereens.
Also smith·ers [smith -erz] /ˈsmɪð ərz/.
Origin of smithereens
1820–30; dial. smithers (< ?) + Hiberno-English -een diminutive suffix (< Irish -ín)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for smithereen
Every smithereen of clothes that she has the mistress gave her, and the old lady has been open-handed, too.The Chronicles of Rhoda
Florence Tinsley Cox
- little shattered pieces or fragments
C19: from Irish Gaelic smidirīn, from smiodar
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for smithereen
"small fragments," 1810, smiddereens, from Irish smidirin, diminutive of smiodar "fragment," perhaps with diminutive ending as in Colleen.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper