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English definition of “smother”

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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. 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. 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.

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. 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.
(Definition of smother from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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