Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “smother”

See all translations

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)
What is the pronunciation of smother?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “smother” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

christmassy

typical of Christmas, or happy because it is Christmas

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

tweleb noun

December 22, 2014
informal a Twitter celebrity; (more specifically, someone who has more than 1,000 followers on Twitter) There were a few old and a few new faces, including a tweleb or two. Expect to see and hear more from these cool kids.

Read More