Origin and Etymology of smother
Middle English, alteration of smorther, from smoren to smother, from Old English smorian to suffocate; akin to Middle Dutch smoren to suffocate
First Known Use: 13th centurySee Words from the same year
Definition of smother
smotheringplay \ˈsmə-thə-riŋ, ˈsməth-riŋ\
: to be overcome or killed through or as if through lack of air
1 : to overcome or kill with smoke or fumes
2a : to kill by depriving of airb : to overcome or discomfit through or as if through lack of airc : to suppress (a fire) by excluding oxygen
3a : to cause to smolderb : to suppress expression or knowledge of smothered his ragec : to stop or prevent the growth or activity of smother a child with too much care; also : overwhelmd : to cover thickly : blanket snow smothered the trailse : to overcome or vanquish quickly or decisively
4 : to cook in a covered pan or pot with little liquid over low heat
Examples of smother in a Sentence
He tried to smother her with a pillow.
She smothered the fire with a blanket.
Recent Examples of smother from the Web
These are filled with raw onions, yellow corn smothered in white cheese, and a diluted egg mixture poured from a brass teapot.
After a yellow card was issued ten minutes later to Puebla winger Félix Micolta, América fired another shot on frame that goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin quickly smothered.
Collins, whose opposition to the Better Care Reconciliation Act helped derail last week's plans for a quick vote, is being lobbied to smother it and make Congress start over.
An Athens woman, who police say confessed to smothering her young daughter with a pillow, has been indicted for capital murder.
Flights are being canceled and air-conditioners are pushing energy demands to record highs as a heat wave smothers the southwest — and summer is still a day away.
Smothered pork chops with collard greens and corn bread.
Tsygankova, 33, is accused of smothering her two daughters, Michaela Kholodenko, 1, and Nika Kholodenko, 5, inside their Benbrook home on March 17, 2016.
And then even when gaps in the canopy open up and allow new seedlings a chance at becoming trees, lianas tend to completely smother those seedlings and kill them.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'smother.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of smother
SMOTHER Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of smother for English Language Learners
: to kill (someone) by covering the face so that breathing is not possible
: to cover (something) in order to keep it from growing or spreading
: to try to keep (something) from happening : to try to stop doing (something)
SMOTHER Defined for Kids
Definition of smother for Students
1 : to kill or injure by keeping from getting air or by exposing to smoke or fumes : suffocate
2 : to become suffocated
3 : to keep from growing or developing by or as if by covering smother a fire … anguish smothered her smallest joy. — Pam Muñoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising
4 : to keep from happening : suppress I tried to smother a yawn.
5 : to cover thickly The salad was smothered with dressing.
Seen and Heard
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