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smithereens

[smith-uh-reenz]
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plural noun
  1. small pieces; bits: broken into smithereens.
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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

Related Words for smithereen

speck, fragment, molecule, grain, fleck, mite, ray, slice, specimen, chunk, example, sample, item, portion, hunk, lot, scrap, bit, segment, section

Examples from the Web for smithereen

Historical Examples of 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


British Dictionary definitions for smithereen

smithereens

pl n
  1. little shattered pieces or fragments
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Word Origin for smithereens

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

smithereens

n.

"small fragments," 1810, smiddereens, from Irish smidirin, diminutive of smiodar "fragment," perhaps with diminutive ending as in Colleen.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper