smolder

verb
smol·​der | \ ˈsmōl-dər How to pronounce smolder (audio) \
variants: or smoulder
smoldered or smouldered; smoldering or smouldering\ ˈsmōl-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce smouldering (audio) \

Definition of smolder

intransitive verb

1a : to burn sluggishly, without flame, and often with much smoke
b : to be consumed by smoldering often used with out
2 : to exist in a state of suppressed activity hostilities smoldered for years
3 : to show suppressed anger, hate, or jealousy eyes smoldering with hate

Examples of smolder in a Sentence

The remains of the campfire smoldered. Her eyes smoldered with anger. Anger smoldered in my heart.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Around the same time, a landfill along the shipyard’s western border caught fire and smoldered for weeks before the Navy notified the EPA and city. Jason Fagone, SFChronicle.com, "Report: Navy altered Hunters Point cleanup to cover, not remove, toxic soil," 14 Aug. 2019 The territory lying between the two nuclear armed nations was already one of Asia’s most dangerous and militarized flash points, smoldering for decades. New York Times, "Inside Kashmir, Cut Off From the World: ‘A Living Hell’ of Anger and Fear," 10 Aug. 2019 The territory lying between the two nuclear armed nations was already one of Asia’s most dangerous and militarized flashpoints, smoldering for decades. Sameer Yasir, BostonGlobe.com, "Confusion, rage, and protest grip cutoff Kashmir," 10 Aug. 2019 And the spacecraft built to carry astronauts into deep space was now smoldering atop a rocket in Florida. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "The Greatest Leap, part 1: How the Apollo fire propelled NASA to the Moon," 16 July 2019 These can be lit and will smolder long enough to be used to ignite the fuse without risking catching anything else on fire or burning the user. Eric Adams, Popular Mechanics, "How to Have Fun (and Stay Safe) During This Year's Fireworks-Filled Fourth," 1 July 2019 Simpson said three Idaho National Laboratory firefighters that entered the earthen-floored structure on April 11 to extinguish a smoldering barrel reported other possible breaches, and crews outside heard some of the barrels rupture. Washington Post, "Officials say radioactive sludge barrel ruptures now total 4," 25 Apr. 2018 As the infection began to subside, instead of relief, a smoldering anger took hold of me. Allison Pattillo, Health.com, "What Almost Losing My Leg Taught Me About Grit and Grace," 5 Apr. 2018 As the gang leaders, Race Chambers is a taut, gritty Riff and Danny Diaz simply smolders as the proud Puerto Rican Bernardo. Daily Pilot, "On Theater: A heart-throbbing ‘West Side’ revival," 19 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'smolder.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of smolder

1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for smolder

Middle English smolderen to smother, from smolder smoke, smudge; akin to Middle Dutch smōlen to smolder

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about smolder

Statistics for smolder

Last Updated

22 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for smolder

The first known use of smolder was in 1529

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for smolder

smolder

verb

English Language Learners Definition of smolder

: to burn slowly without flames but usually with smoke
: to feel a strong emotion but keep it hidden
: to be felt strongly by someone without being directly shown or expressed

smolder

verb
smol·​der
variants: or smoulder
smoldered or smouldered; smoldering or smouldering

Kids Definition of smolder

1 : to burn slowly usually with smoke and without flame A fire was smoldering in the grate.
2 : to burn inwardly Her anger smoldered.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on smolder

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with smolder

Spanish Central: Translation of smolder

Nglish: Translation of smolder for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of smolder for Arabic Speakers

Comments on smolder

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a usually brief trip or an expedition

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!