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See also: Smithereens



Origin uncertain; the following possibilities have been suggested, though the etymons are all first attested later than the English word:[1]



smithereens pl (plural only) (rare singular smithereen)

  1. (originally Ireland, informal) Fragments or splintered pieces; numerous tiny disconnected items.
    Synonyms: shards, shivereens, smithers
    The urn shattered into smithereens the moment it hit the ground.
    • 2022 January 12, Benedict le Vay, “The heroes of Soham...”, in RAIL, number 948, page 42:
      However, something once happened on the railway there which showed the very best of mankind: heroism, duty, self-sacrifice and calm professionalism under terrible pressure. It is a story which gives us far, far better reasons for remembering this attractive little town, which without these heroes would have been blown to smithereens in a gigantic explosion. (Two railwaymen lost their lives in 1944 when a wagon in an ammunition train caught fire and blew up, an even worse disaster was averted however.)



  1. ^ smithereens, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “smithereens, n.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

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