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October 7, 2022

Smithereens / noun / smith·​er·​eens

Smithereens is an informal term for pieces of refuse, or specifically, broken glass. We use it as a plural noun in English to mean something that is completely destroyed or wasted. For example, "He smashed the window, and smithereens went everywhere." In English, the words fragments and bits are synonyms with the same meaning as smithereens.

In a Sentence

The late fall tornado devastated the midwestern residents in the town when it blew through unexpectedly and left all the buildings in town in smithereens.

They designed rage rooms for people to release tension and frustration by smashing everyday objects to smithereens.

They reduced the flat screen TV to smithereens when the movers accidentally dropped it from the bed of the moving truck.


The word smithereens was first used in English in the late 1800s. Etymologists say we probably derived it from the Irish phrase smiodar, which means "little fragment." We still use the word smithereens in American slang to depict the appearance of broken glass when it is scattered. The word smithereens is also the title of an album by the British rock band The Who.


Fragment, Bits


Attach, Associate


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