verb (used with object)
to stifle or suffocate, as by smoke or other means of preventing free breathing.
to extinguish or deaden (fire, coals, etc.) by covering so as to exclude air.
to cover closely or thickly; envelop: to smother a steak with mushrooms.
to suppress or repress: to smother feelings.
Cookery. to steam (food) slowly in a heavy, tightly closed vessel with a minimum of liquid: smothered chicken and onions.
verb (used without object)
to become stifled or suffocated; be prevented from breathing.
to be stifled; be suppressed or concealed.
dense, stifling smoke.
a smoking or smoldering state, as of burning matter.
dust, fog, spray, etc., in a dense or enveloping cloud.
an overspreading profusion of anything: a smother of papers.

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

smotherable, adjective
half-smothered, adjective
unsmotherable, adjective
unsmothered, adjective
unsmothering, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
smother (ˈsmʌðə)
1.  to suffocate or stifle by cutting off or being cut off from the air
2.  (tr) to surround (with) or envelop (in): he smothered her with love
3.  (tr) 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.  (tr) to cook or serve (food) thickly covered with sauce, etc
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
[Old English smorian to suffocate; related to Middle Low German smōren]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

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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Example sentences
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.
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