smother Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “smother” in the English Dictionary

"smother" in British English

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smotherverb [T]

uk   /ˈsmʌð.ər/  us   //
  • smother verb [T] (COVER)

to ​kill someone by ​coveringtheirface so that they cannot ​breathe: They ​threatened to smother the ​animals with ​plasticbags. 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 ​trieddesperately to smother a ​sneeze (= I ​tried not to ​sneeze) during his ​speech. to ​stop a ​fire from ​burning by ​covering it with something that ​preventsair from ​reaching it: I ​threw a ​blanket over the ​stove to smother the ​flames.
  • smother verb [T] (NOT DEVELOP)

to ​prevent something from ​developing or ​growingfreely: The ​latestviolence has smothered any ​remaininghopes for an early ​peaceagreement. to give someone too much ​love and ​attention so that they do not ​feelindependent or ​free: I ​think she ​broke off ​theirengagement because she ​felt smothered by him.
(Definition of smother from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"smother" in American English

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smotherverb [T]

 us   /ˈsmʌð·ər/
  • smother verb [T] (PREVENT BREATHING)

to ​prevent a ​person or ​animal from getting ​oxygen: Several ​animals were smothered by ​smoke from the ​fire. To smother someone is to ​kill someone by ​covering the person’s ​face, making it ​impossible to ​breathe.
  • smother verb [T] (COVER)

to ​cover most or all of a ​surface: The ​pasta was smothered with a ​creamysauce.
  • smother verb [T] (STOP FIRE)

to ​stop a ​fire from ​burning by ​covering it with something that ​preventsair from ​reaching it: Firefighters smothered the ​blaze with ​chemicalfoam.
  • smother verb [T] (GIVE LOVE)

to give someone you ​love too much ​attention and make the ​personfeel less ​independent: He ​felt smothered by her ​love.
(Definition of smother from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“smother” in British English

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