What does smother mean?

Definitions for smother
ˈsmʌð ərsmoth·er

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word smother.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. clutter, jumble, muddle, fuddle, mare's nest, welter, smothernoun

    a confused multitude of things

  2. smotherverb

    a stifling cloud of smoke

  3. smother, surroundverb

    envelop completely

    "smother the meat in gravy"

  4. smother, asphyxiate, suffocateverb

    deprive of oxygen and prevent from breathing

    "Othello smothered Desdemona with a pillow"; "The child suffocated herself with a plastic bag that the parents had left on the floor"

  5. smother, stifle, strangle, muffle, repressverb

    conceal or hide

    "smother a yawn"; "muffle one's anger"; "strangle a yawn"

  6. smotherverb

    form an impenetrable cover over

    "the butter cream smothered the cake"

  7. smother, put outverb

    deprive of the oxygen necessary for combustion

    "smother fires"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Smothernoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    This unfortunate prince, after a long smother of discontent, and hatred of many of his nobility and people, breaking forth at times into seditions, was at last distressed by them. Francis Bacon.

    A man were better relate himself to a statue, than suffer his thoughts to pass in smother. Francis Bacon.

    Nothing makes a man suspect much, more than to know little; and therefore men should procure to know more, and not to keep their suspicions in smother. Francis Bacon, Essays.

    Thus must I from the smoke into the smother,
    From tyrant duke into a tyrant brother. William Shakespeare.

    Where yon disorder’d heap of ruin lies,
    Stones rent from stones, where clouds of dust arise,
    Amid’ that smother Neptune holds his place. John Dryden, Æn.

    The greater part enter only like mutes to fill the stage, and spend their taper in smoke and smother. Jeremy Collier, on Fame.

  2. To Smotherverb

    Etymology: smoran , Saxon.

    She might give passage to her thoughts, and so as it were utter out some smoke of those flames, wherewith else she was not only burned but smothered. Philip Sidney.

    We smother’d
    The most replenished sweet work of nature,
    That from the prime creation e’er she fram’d. William Shakespeare.

    We are enow yet living in the field,
    To smother up the English in our throngs. William Shakespeare, Hen. V.

    She was warmed with the graceful appearance of the hero: she smothered those sparkles out of decency, but conversation blew them up into a flame. John Dryden, Æn. Dedication.

    The helpless traveller, with wild surprise,
    Sees the dry desart all around him rise,
    And smother’d in the dusty whirlwind dies. Joseph Addison, Cato.

    Lewd and wicked custom, beginning perhaps at the first amongst few, afterwards spreading into greater multitudes, and so continuing; from time may be of force, even in plain things, to smother the light of natural understanding. Richard Hooker.

  3. To Smotherverb

    Etymology: from the noun

    Hay and straw have a very low degree of heat; but yet close and smothering, and which drieth not. Francis Bacon, Nat. History.

    The advantage of conversation is such, that, for want of company, a man had better talk to a post than let his thoughts lie smoking and smothering. Jeremy Collier, of Friendship.


  1. smother

    Asphyxia or asphyxiation is a condition of deficient supply of oxygen to the body which arises from abnormal breathing. Asphyxia causes generalized hypoxia, which affects primarily the tissues and organs. There are many circumstances that can induce asphyxia, all of which are characterized by the inability of a person to acquire sufficient oxygen through breathing for an extended period of time. Asphyxia can cause coma or death. In 2015, about 9.8 million cases of unintentional suffocation occurred which resulted in 35,600 deaths. The word asphyxia is from Ancient Greek α- "without" and σφύξις sphyxis, "squeeze" (throb of heart).


  1. smother

    Smother generally refers to covering something entirely, depriving it of air or preventing growth or activity. It could refer to either physically suffocating someone or something by covering their mouth and nose to avert respiration, or metaphorically overwhelming or suppressing someone or something completely. It can also refer to extinguishing a fire by covering it or depriving it of oxygen.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Smotherverb

    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; as, to smother a child

  2. Smotherverb

    to affect as by suffocation; to stife; to deprive of air by a thick covering, as of ashes, of smoke, or the like; as, to smother a fire

  3. Smotherverb

    hence, to repress the action of; to cover from public view; to suppress; to conceal; as, to smother one's displeasure

  4. Smotherverb

    to be suffocated or stifled

  5. Smotherverb

    to burn slowly, without sufficient air; to smolder

  6. Smotherverb

    stifling smoke; thick dust

  7. Smotherverb

    a state of suppression

  8. Etymology: [OE. smotheren; akin to E. smoor. See Smoor.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Smother

    smuth′ėr, v.t. to suffocate by excluding the air: to conceal.—v.i. to be suffocated or suppressed: to smoulder.—n. smoke: thick floating dust: state of being smothered: confusion.—ns. Smotherā′tion, suffocation: a sailor's dish of meat buried in potatoes; Smoth′eriness.—adv. Smoth′eringly.—adj. Smoth′ery, tending to smother: stifling. [M. E. smorther—A.S. smorian, to smother; cf. Ger. schmoren, to stew.]

How to pronounce smother?

How to say smother in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of smother in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of smother in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of smother in a Sentence

  1. Margaret Chan:

    We are scaling up our action, We must smother this little fire before it gets out of control.

  2. Leonard Hand:

    Heretics have been hated from the beginning of recorded time; they have been ostracized, exiled, tortured, maimed and butchered; but it has generally proved impossible to smother them; and when it has not, the society that has succeeded has always declined.

  3. Dr. Felice Leonardo Buscaglia:

    Don't smother each other. No one can grow in the shade.

  4. Joshua Crosier:

    crime is like a fire you must smother it before it gets out of hand

  5. Ted Cruz:

    My approach, much to the frustration of media, is to bear hug both of them and smother them with love, i believe that gravity will bring both of those candidates down. I think the lion share of their supporters will come to us.

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Translations for smother

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"smother." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 1 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/smother>.

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    offensive or even (of persons) malicious
    • A. nasty
    • B. alternate
    • C. dependable
    • D. suspicious

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