One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘a teenage mum tried to smother her baby in hospital’
suffocate, stifle, asphyxiate, choke, throttle, strangle, strangulate
2‘police officers tried to smother the flames with their jackets’
extinguish, put out, snuff out, dampen, damp down, stamp out, douse, choke
3‘we smothered the children with suncream’
smear, daub, bedaub, spread, cover
4‘it's time for you to leave the house—she'll smother you if you remain’
overwhelm, inundate, envelop, trap, surround, cocoon
5‘she smothered a sigh’
stifle, muffle, strangle, gag, restrain, repress, suppress, hold back, keep back, fight back, choke back, bite back, swallow, contain, bottle up, conceal, hide
bite one's lip
informal button up, keep the lid on, cork up
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