Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To suffocate (another).
  • intransitive verb To deprive (a fire) of the oxygen necessary for combustion.
  • intransitive verb To conceal, suppress, or hide.
  • intransitive verb To cover thickly.
  • intransitive verb To lavish a surfeit of a given emotion on (someone).
  • intransitive verb To suffocate.
  • intransitive verb To be extinguished.
  • intransitive verb To be concealed or suppressed.
  • intransitive verb To be surfeited with an emotion.
  • noun Something, such as a dense cloud of smoke or dust, that smothers or tends to smother.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun That which smothers or appears to smother, in any sense.
  • noun Smoldering; slow combustion.
  • noun Confusion; excess with disorder: as, a perfect smother of letters and papers.
  • noun The state of being stifled; suppression.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To be suffocated or stifled.
  • intransitive verb To burn slowly, without sufficient air; to smolder.
  • transitive verb 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 verb To affect as by suffocation; to stife; to deprive of air by a thick covering, as of ashes, of smoke, or the like.
  • transitive verb Hence, to repress the action of; to cover from public view; to suppress; to conceal.
  • noun Stifling smoke; thick dust.
  • noun obsolete A state of suppression.
  • noun That which smothers or causes a sensation of smothering, as smoke, fog, the foam of the sea, a confused multitude of things.
  • noun (Zoöl.) an aphid.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun That which smothers or appears to smother, in any sense.
  • noun The state of being stifled; suppression.
  • noun Australian rules football The act of smothering a kick (see above).
  • verb transitive To suffocate; stifle; obstruct, more or less completely, the respiration of.
  • verb transitive To extinguish or deaden, as fire, by covering, overlaying, or otherwise excluding the air: as, to smother a fire with ashes.
  • verb transitive 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.
  • verb transitive In cookery: to cook in a close dish: as, beefsteak smothered with onions.
  • verb transitive To daub or smear.
  • verb intransitive To be suffocated.
  • verb intransitive To breathe with great difficulty by reason of smoke, dust, close covering or wrapping, or the like.
  • verb intransitive Of a fire: to burn very slowly for want of air; smolder.
  • verb intransitive Figuratively: to perish, grow feeble, or decline, by suppression or concealment; be stifled; be suppressed or concealed.
  • verb soccer To get in the way of a kick of the ball
  • verb 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a stifling cloud of smoke

Etymologies

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

[Middle English smotheren, from smorther, dense smoke; see smolder.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

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