plural noun

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) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for smithereens


pl n

little shattered pieces or fragments

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 smithereens

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper