Meaning of “smother” in the English Dictionary

"smother" in British English

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smotherverb [ T ]

uk /ˈsmʌð.ər/ us /ˈsmʌð.ɚ/

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 stove to smother the flames.

Phrasal verb(s)

(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 creamy sauce.

smother verb [ T ] (STOP FIRE)

to stop a fire from burning by covering it with something that prevents air from reaching it:

Firefighters smothered the blaze with chemical foam.

smother verb [ T ] (GIVE LOVE)

to give someone you love too much attention and make the person feel less independent:

He felt smothered by her love.

(Definition of “smother” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)