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 The depictions are disturbingly romantic: seminude invaders among smoldering monuments, preening with bloodlust and concupiscence. Cullen Murphy, The Atlantic, "The Man Who Sacked Rome," 9 June 2020 Macon County Sheriff Andre Brunson told the Opelika-Auburn News that motorists saw the cross begin to fall onto the overpass railing and attempted to move the smoldering object away from the overpass. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "FBI and local authorities investigating cross burning over Alabama overpass," 5 June 2020 Ionization sensors are designed to detect invisible smoke particles and are associated with flaming fires (most common in house fires), while photoelectric smoke detectors can quickly detect smoke tied to smoldering fires. Nicole Bradley, Better Homes & Gardens, "6 Best Smoke Detectors to Keep Your Family Safe," 2 June 2020 There’s the smoldering police station torched early Thursday morning by protesters enraged by the death of George Floyd while in custody. Anchorage Daily News, "Unrest devastates a city’s landmark street of diversity," 1 June 2020 Photos show Bank of Punjab president Zafar Masood and at least one other passenger, identified as Muhammad Zubair, after they were freed from the smoldering wreckage. Fox News, "Bank president, second survivor are pulled from wreckage of Pakistan plane crash," 23 May 2020 Bastien and Celine exchange smoldering volleys of animosity, arrogance, and allure. Katie Ward Beim-esche, The Christian Science Monitor, "Mystery and romance swirl together in young adult novel ‘The Beautiful’," 7 Apr. 2020 Maimbourg, 25, appears as a clown with pink suspenders over her breasts, as a kind of human ashtray with smoldering cigarettes pressing into her face, and as a grand guignol figure who has carved her heart out of her chest with a knife. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Cleveland Institute of Art’s 74th annual Student Independent Exhibition displays talents on the rise," 1 Mar. 2020 The aroma of golden bread cooked over smoldering coals lingered in the air. Vincent T. Davis, ExpressNews.com, "Chuck wagon cook rustles up Old West chow at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo," 15 Feb. 2020

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

Time Traveler for smolder

Time Traveler

The first known use of smolder was in 1529

See more words from the same year

Statistics for smolder

Last Updated

12 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Smolder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/smolder. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for smolder

smolder

verb
How to pronounce smolder (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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!