- 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 smothering
Another top contender in the Oscar race is Barbara Hershey, as the smothering mother of fragile Natalie Portman in Black Swan.Hollywood's Bad Mother Obsession
December 29, 2010
“Etouffée” means smothered, which is how this dish should be served: smothering the rice underneath it.What to Eat: Mardi Gras
February 16, 2010
Certainly they would be better off under a reformist government, rather than the smothering absolutism of the oligarchy.The Thugs Who Lead Iran's Supreme Leader
June 27, 2009
"We'll run for Peel this morning, boys," said Pete, smothering his voice in a mouthful.The Manxman
The smothering canopy was then lowered, but not so noiselessly as I had seen it lowered.Masterpieces of Mystery
He thought, on this, that he might be smothering her; and he relaxed his hold to allow her to breathe.The Wild Geese
Stanley John Weyman
He was choking, smothering—smothering with shame, hopelessness, despair.Garrison's Finish
W. B. M. Ferguson
She sprawled back, resignedly, in her chair, smothering a yawn.Highacres
- 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 smothering
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.