Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “smother”

smother

verb [T] (NOT DEVELOP)    /ˈsmʌð.ər/ US  //
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 verb (NOT DEVELOP) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of smother

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Treating someone well, but you might be interested in these topics from the Behaving and interacting topic area:

Definitions of “smother” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

closeness

the quality of knowing someone very well, liking them a lot, and wanting to spend a lot of time together

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More