- to stifle or suffocate, as by smoke or other means of preventing free breathing.
- to extinguish or deaden (fire, coals, etc.) by covering so as to exclude air.
- to cover closely or thickly; envelop: to smother a steak with mushrooms.
- to suppress or repress: to smother feelings.
- Cookery. to steam (food) slowly in a heavy, tightly closed vessel with a minimum of liquid: smothered chicken and onions.
- to become stifled or suffocated; be prevented from breathing.
- to be stifled; be suppressed or concealed.
- dense, stifling smoke.
- a smoking or smoldering state, as of burning matter.
- dust, fog, spray, etc., in a dense or enveloping cloud.
- an overspreading profusion of anything: a smother of papers.
Origin of smother
Examples from the Web for smother
You just have to find that yin of decency and locate the gestures and words that smother the yang of fear.Why the Border Bigots Are Beating Obama
July 9, 2014
Verloc, whose affair the police has managed to smother so nicely, was mediocre.The Secret Agent
Pour it boiling on the cucumbers, and smother them as before.The Lady's Own Cookery Book, and New Dinner-Table Directory;
Charlotte Campbell Bury
You would kill her, smother her dead in your arms, before you would give her to—that.Things as They Are
They had gone unheard and unseen, melting, as it were, in the shock and smother of the wave.Typhoon
His eyebrows and hair were left behind in the smother of flame.Garrison's Finish
W. B. M. Ferguson
- to suffocate or stifle by cutting off or being cut off from the air
- (tr) to surround (with) or envelop (in)he smothered her with love
- (tr) to extinguish (a fire) by covering so as to cut it off from the air
- to be or cause to be suppressed or stifledsmother a giggle
- (tr) to cook or serve (food) thickly covered with sauce, etc
- anything, such as a cloud of smoke, that stifles
- a profusion or turmoil
- archaic a state of smouldering or a smouldering fire
Word Origin and History for smother
c.1200, "to suffocate with smoke," from smother (n.), earlier smorthre "dense, suffocating smoke" (late 12c.), from stem of Old English smorian "to suffocate, choke, strangle, stifle," cognate with Middle Dutch smoren, German schmoren; possibly connected to smolder. Meaning "to kill by suffocation in any manner" is from 1540s; sense of "to extinguish a fire" is from 1590s. Sense of "stifle, repress" is first recorded 1570s; meaning "to cover thickly (with some substance)" is from 1590s. Related: Smothered; smothering.