v. smoth·ered, smoth·er·ing, smoth·ers
a. To suffocate (another).
b. To deprive (a fire) of the oxygen necessary for combustion.
2. To conceal, suppress, or hide: Management smothered the true facts of the case. We smothered our indignation and pressed onward.
3. To cover thickly: smother chicken in sauce.
4. To lavish a surfeit of a given emotion on (someone): The grandparents smothered the child with affection.
a. To suffocate.
b. To be extinguished.
2. To be concealed or suppressed.
3. To be surfeited with an emotion.
Something, such as a dense cloud of smoke or dust, that smothers or tends to smother.
[Middle English smotheren, from smorther, dense smoke; see SMOLDER.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.