Definition of smolder in English:


Syllabification: smol·der
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.


Back to top  
  • 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.



More 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.

More definitions of smolder

Definition of smolder in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmeɪlstrəm
a powerful whirlpool in the sea