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 century
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.
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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