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smother

[smuhth -er] /ˈsmʌð ər/
verb (used with object)
1.
to stifle or suffocate, as by smoke or other means of preventing free breathing.
2.
to extinguish or deaden (fire, coals, etc.) by covering so as to exclude air.
3.
to cover closely or thickly; envelop:
to smother a steak with mushrooms.
4.
to suppress or repress:
to smother feelings.
5.
Cookery. to steam (food) slowly in a heavy, tightly closed vessel with a minimum of liquid:
smothered chicken and onions.
verb (used without object)
6.
to become stifled or suffocated; be prevented from breathing.
7.
to be stifled; be suppressed or concealed.
noun
8.
dense, stifling smoke.
9.
a smoking or smoldering state, as of burning matter.
10.
dust, fog, spray, etc., in a dense or enveloping cloud.
11.
an overspreading profusion of anything:
a smother of papers.
Origin
1125-1175
1125-75; (noun) Middle English smorther dense smoke; akin to Old English smorian to suffocate; (v.) Middle English smo(r)theren, derivative of the noun
Related forms
smotherable, adjective
half-smothered, adjective
unsmotherable, adjective
unsmothered, adjective
unsmothering, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for smothering
  • The attempt to extinguish the for-profit sector through regulatory smothering was launched in the name of correcting abuses.
  • In that time, overfishing has allowed seaweed and algae to grow unchecked, smothering coral worldwide.
  • smothering effectively kills weeds in areas earmarked for future planting.
  • There's a fine line between protecting and smothering.
  • It is not toxic but it mechanically exterminates the bugs through smothering.
  • The prolonged crisis is draining belief in the euro and smothering the recovery.
  • Such sacralization is a disservice, smothering the critical dialogue that great literature engenders.
  • It was only one of many senseless rumors and inventions added to the smothering air.
  • If the conventions do not deserve television's reverence, surely they deserve better than a public smothering.
  • Delicate habitats, such as coral reefs, are susceptible to poisoning or smothering by oil.
British Dictionary definitions for smothering

smother

/ˈsmʌðə/
verb
1.
to suffocate or stifle by cutting off or being cut off from the air
2.
(transitive) to surround (with) or envelop (in) he smothered her with love
3.
(transitive) to extinguish (a fire) by covering so as to cut it off from the air
4.
to be or cause to be suppressed or stifled smother a giggle
5.
(transitive) to cook or serve (food) thickly covered with sauce, etc
noun
6.
anything, such as a cloud of smoke, that stifles
7.
a profusion or turmoil
8.
(archaic) a state of smouldering or a smouldering fire
Derived Forms
smothery, adjective
Word Origin
Old English smorian to suffocate; related to Middle Low German smōren
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for smothering
smother
c.1200, "to suffocate with smoke," from smorthre (n.) "dense, suffocating smoke" (c.1175), from stem of O.E. smorian "to suffocate, choke," possibly connected to smolder. Meaning "to kill by suffocation" is from 1548; sense of "to extinguish a fire" is from 1591. Sense of "stifle, repress" is first recorded 1579; meaning "to cover thickly (with some substance)" is from 1598.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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