You just have to find that yin of decency and locate the gestures and words that smother the yang of fear.
The Squire will be fit to smother us all, when he finds you are off; Mrs. Todhetley is in dreadful grief.
Phebe coughed to smother the sound, and then gave her friend a warning pinch.
Impatiently I smother the accusing whisper of my conscience, "By the right of revolutionary ethics."
John Fairmeadow ridiculously failed to smother a chuckle in a growl.
Maria was coughing, although she strove hard to smother the coughs.
The smell of the earth and the new grass seemed to smother me.
“Never mind, Tuck,” laughed Ned, while the other boys rolled over in the grass to smother their laughter.
Nevertheless they struggled on into the smother, making what headway they could.
The fire was taking hold and the smoke had begun to smother him.
c.1200, "to suffocate with smoke," from smother (n.), earlier smorthre "dense, suffocating smoke" (late 12c.), from stem of Old English smorian "to suffocate, choke, strangle, stifle," cognate with Middle Dutch smoren, German schmoren; possibly connected to smolder. Meaning "to kill by suffocation in any manner" is from 1540s; sense of "to extinguish a fire" is from 1590s. Sense of "stifle, repress" is first recorded 1570s; meaning "to cover thickly (with some substance)" is from 1590s. Related: Smothered; smothering.