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English definition of “smother”

smother

verb [T] uk   /ˈsmʌð.ər/ us    //

smother verb [T] (COVER)

to kill someone by covering their face so that they cannot breathe: They threatened to smother the animals with plastic bags.Murder and attempted murderKillingBreathing and stopping breathing to kill something by covering it and preventing it from receiving the substances and conditions it needs for life: Snow soon smothered the last of the blooms.figurative I tried desperately to smother a sneeze (= I tried not to sneeze) during his speech.KillingMurder and attempted murder to stop a fire from burning by covering it with something that prevents air from reaching it: I threw a blanket over the cooker to smother the flames.Stopping fires

smother verb [T] (NOT DEVELOP)

to prevent something from developing or growing freely: The latest violence has smothered any remaining hopes for an early peace agreement.Preventing and impedingLimiting and restricting to give someone too much love and attention so that they do not feel independent or free: I think she broke off their engagement because she felt smothered by him.Defending and protectingBacking, supporting and defendingPreserving and savingTreating someone well
(Definition of smother from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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