Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To suffocate (another).
  • transitive v. To deprive (a fire) of the oxygen necessary for combustion.
  • transitive v. To conceal, suppress, or hide: Management smothered the true facts of the case. We smothered our indignation and pressed onward.
  • transitive v. To cover thickly: smother chicken in sauce.
  • transitive v. To lavish a surfeit of a given emotion on (someone): The grandparents smothered the child with affection.
  • intransitive v. To suffocate.
  • intransitive v. To be extinguished.
  • intransitive v. To be concealed or suppressed.
  • intransitive v. To be surfeited with an emotion.
  • n. Something, such as a dense cloud of smoke or dust, that smothers or tends to smother.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. That which smothers or appears to smother, in any sense.
  • n. The state of being stifled; suppression.
  • n. The act of smothering a kick (see above).
  • v. To suffocate; stifle; obstruct, more or less completely, the respiration of.
  • v. To extinguish or deaden, as fire, by covering, overlaying, or otherwise excluding the air: as, to smother a fire with ashes.
  • v. 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.
  • v. In cookery: to cook in a close dish: as, beefsteak smothered with onions.
  • v. To daub or smear.
  • v. To be suffocated.
  • v. To breathe with great difficulty by reason of smoke, dust, close covering or wrapping, or the like.
  • v. Of a fire: to burn very slowly for want of air; smolder.
  • v. Figuratively: to perish, grow feeble, or decline, by suppression or concealment; be stifled; be suppressed or concealed.
  • v. To get in the way of a kick of the ball
  • v. 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Stifling smoke; thick dust.
  • n. A state of suppression.
  • n. That which smothers or causes a sensation of smothering, as smoke, fog, the foam of the sea, a confused multitude of things.
  • intransitive v. To be suffocated or stifled.
  • intransitive v. To burn slowly, without sufficient air; to smolder.
  • transitive v. To destroy the life of by suffocation; to deprive of the air necessary for life; to cover up closely so as to prevent breathing; to suffocate.
  • transitive v. To affect as by suffocation; to stife; to deprive of air by a thick covering, as of ashes, of smoke, or the like.
  • transitive v. Hence, to repress the action of; to cover from public view; to suppress; to conceal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • Hence, figuratively and generally, 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.
  • Synonyms Smother, Choke, Strangle, Throttle, Stifle, Suffocate. To smother, in the stricter sense, is to put to death by preventing air from entering the nose or mouth. To choke is to imperil or destroy life by stoppage, external or internal, in the windpipe. To strangle is to put to death by compression of the windpipe. Throttle is the same as strangle, except that it is often used for partial or attempted strangling, and that it suggests its derivation. Suffocate and stifle are essentially the same, except that stifle is the stronger: they mean to kill by impeding respiration.
  • To be suffocated.
  • To breathe with great difficulty by reason of smoke, dust. close covering or wrapping, or the like.
  • Of a fire, to burn very slowly for want of air; smolder.
  • Figuratively, to perish, grow feeble, or decline, by suppression or concealment; be stifled; be suppressed or concealed.
  • n. That which smothers or appears to smother, in any sense.
  • n. Smoldering; slow combustion.
  • n. Confusion; excess with disorder: as, a perfect smother of letters and papers.
  • n. The state of being stifled; suppression.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a stifling cloud of smoke
  • v. deprive of the oxygen necessary for combustion
  • v. envelop completely
  • v. deprive of oxygen and prevent from breathing
  • v. conceal or hide
  • v. form an impenetrable cover over
  • n. a confused multitude of things

Etymologies

Middle English smotheren, from smorther, dense smoke; see smolder.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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 *smurōnan (“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"). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English smother, smorther ("a suffocating vapour, dense smoke"), from Old English *smorþor ("smoke", literally "that which suffocates"), from smorian ("to suffocate, choke") + -þor (instrumental suffix). (Wiktionary)

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