plural noun
smith·​er·​eens | \ ˌsmi-t͟hə-ˈrēnz How to pronounce smithereens (audio) \

Definition of smithereens

: fragments, bits the house was blown to smithereens by the explosion

Did You Know?

Despite its American sound and its common use by the fiery animated cartoon character Yosemite Sam, smithereens did not originate in American slang. Although no one is entirely positive about its precise origins, scholars think that smithereens likely developed from the Irish word smidiríní, which means "little bits." That Irish word is the diminutive of smiodar, meaning "fragment." Written record of the use of smithereen dates back to 1829.

First Known Use of smithereens

1795, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for smithereens

perhaps from Irish smidiríní

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Time Traveler for smithereens

The first known use of smithereens was in 1795

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English Language Learners Definition of smithereens

informal : small broken pieces : tiny bits


noun plural
smith·​er·​eens | \ ˌsmi-t͟hə-ˈrēnz How to pronounce smithereens (audio) \

Kids Definition of smithereens

: small broken pieces The target was blown to smithereens.

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More from Merriam-Webster on smithereens

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with smithereens

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for smithereens

Spanish Central: Translation of smithereens

Comments on smithereens

What made you want to look up smithereens? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to form ideas or theories about something

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