Definition of smolder in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsmōldər/


[no object]
1Burn slowly with smoke but no flame: the bonfire still smoldered, the smoke drifting over the paddock
More example sentences
  • So far she could only see fire and the ruins of houses that had already burned down or were smoldering in the flames.
  • Cigarettes are designed to smoulder, to burn slowly.
  • Even when the water cannon finally beat back the flames, timbers smoked and embers smouldered until rain finally fell.
smoke, glow, burn
1.1Show or feel barely suppressed anger, hatred, or another powerful emotion: Anna smoldered with indignation (as adjective smoldering) he met her smoldering eyes
More example sentences
  • Asgard had seen the accusing look in Terian's face and could not meet the familiar sapphire blue eyes that suddenly smoldered with hatred.
  • His dark eyes smoldered with indescribable emotion.
  • His eyes smoldered with hatred and he growled, but finally his eyes dropped respectfully.
seethe, boil, fume, burn, simmer, be boiling over, be beside oneself
informal be livid
1.2Exist in a suppressed or concealed state: the controversy smoldered on for several years (as adjective smoldering) smoldering rage
More example sentences
  • But that doesn't quite happen, either, if one is to believe the still smoldering conflicts over birth control that turn up in this study.
  • This book is fascinating not because of exploding bombs and smouldering passions, but because of the perplexing subtleties it offers about a life often judged uninteresting.
  • After the conflict had been smouldering for many years, it flared up again in August this year in a border dispute between Abkhazia and Georgia over the Kodori Gorge.


Smoke coming from a fire that is burning slowly without a flame: the last acrid smolder of his cigarette
More example sentences
  • Alexander watched the twin red-hot points of fire smoulder in the figure's flesh, but to his amazement, the wound healed before his eyes.
  • The smokestacks from the factories of Tokyo were belching black smolder into already fetid air.
  • But it's cozier in there; the smolder of tobacco fumes collects on the structural beams that maintain the shelter and mixes with raw breath to mildew man and trench shoring.



Example sentences
  • Richard, the novel's true hero, is tall, dark and smoulderingly handsome - but also cripplingly shy and reserved in that Mr Darcy sort of way that makes him seem insufferably arrogant.
  • Superstar Michael Douglas and his smoulderingly beautiful wife Catherine Zeta Jones really know all about the lifestyle of the very rich and famous, writes Ken Bennett.
  • Scorpio is reputedly the most sexually magnetic, smoulderingly charismatic and psychologically penetrating sign of the zodiac.


Late Middle English: related to Dutch smeulen.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: smol·der

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