- The definition of smother is to suffocate someone by covering their nose and mouth to cut off air, to cover something entirely, or to making someone feel trapped and overwhelmed by attention and affection.
- An example of smother is when you cover someone's face with a pillow and prevent them from breathing until they die.
- An example of smother is when you cover your ice cream entirely with hot fudge.
- An example of smother is when you call your boyfriend every 15 minutes, show up unannounced at his house all the time and constantly send him little gifts.
- to keep from getting enough air to breathe; stifle
- to kill in this way; suffocate
- to cover (a fire), excluding air from it and causing it to smolder or die down
- to cover over thickly: liver smothered in onions
- to hide or suppress by or as by covering; stifle: to smother a yawn
Origin of smotherMiddle English smorthren ; from smorther, dense smoke ; from base of Old English smorian, to suffocate, akin to Middle Low German smoren, to smoke ; from variant, variety of Indo-European base an unverified form smel- from source smell
- to be kept from getting enough air to breathe
- to die in this way; be suffocated
- to be hidden, stifled, or suppressed
- dense, suffocating smoke or any thick cloud of dust, steam, fog, etc.
- a confused turmoil; welter
- Archaic a smoldering fire
- Archaic a smoldering state or condition
verbsmoth·ered, smoth·er·ing, smoth·ers
- a. To suffocate (another).b. To deprive (a fire) of the oxygen necessary for combustion.
- To conceal, suppress, or hide: Management smothered the true facts of the case. We smothered our indignation and pressed onward.
- To cover thickly: smother chicken in sauce.
- To lavish a surfeit of a given emotion on (someone): The grandparents smothered the child with affection.
- a. To suffocate.b. To be extinguished.
- To be concealed or suppressed.
- To be surfeited with an emotion.
Origin of smotherMiddle English smotheren, from smorther, dense smoke; see smolder.
(third-person singular simple present smothers, present participle smothering, simple past and past participle smothered)
- To suffocate; stifle; obstruct, more or less completely, the respiration of.
- To extinguish or deaden, as fire, by covering, overlaying, or otherwise excluding the air: as, to smother a fire with ashes.
- To reduce to a low degree of vigor or activity; suppress or do away with; extinguish; stifle; cover up; conceal; hide: as, the committee's report was smothered.
- In cookery: to cook in a close dish: as, beefsteak smothered with onions.
- To daub or smear.
- (intransitive) To be suffocated.
- (intransitive) To breathe with great difficulty by reason of smoke, dust, close covering or wrapping, or the like.
- (intransitive) Of a fire: to burn very slowly for want of air; smolder.
- (intransitive) Figuratively: to perish, grow feeble, or decline, by suppression or concealment; be stifled; be suppressed or concealed.
- (soccer) To get in the way of a kick of the ball
- (Australian rules football) To get in the way of a kick of the ball, preventing it going very far. When a player is kicking the ball, an opponent who is close enough will reach out with his hands and arms to get over the top of it, so the ball hits his hands after leaving the kicker's boot, dribbling away.
From Middle English smothren, smortheren, alteration (due to smother, smorther (“a suffocating vapour, dense smoke”, noun)) of Middle English smoren (“to smother”), from Old English smorian (“to smother, suffocate, choke”), from Proto-Germanic *smurōną (“to suffocate, strangle”). Cognate with Middle Low German smoren, smurten (“to choke, suffocate”), West Flemish smoren (“to smoke, reek”), Dutch smoren (“to suffocate, smother", also "to stew, simmer”), German schmoren (“to stew, simmer, braise”).