smolder

When a fire is barely burning, it's smoldering. Fires can smolder for days without anyone's knowing, then burst into a conflagration that gets the fire department sirens wailing all over town.

Smolder is a word that is often used figuratively to describe situations or people's feelings. You might say tensions between the North and South were smoldering for years before the outbreak of the Civil War, or that the taking away tater tots was like oxygen to the students' smoldering dissatisfaction with food at school.

Definitions of smolder
1

v burn slowly and without a flame

“a smoldering fire”
Synonyms:
smoulder
Type of:
burn, combust
undergo combustion

v have strong suppressed feelings

Synonyms:
smoulder
Type of:
experience, feel
undergo an emotional sensation or be in a particular state of mind

n a fire that burns with thick smoke but no flame

Synonyms:
smoulder
Type of:
fire
the event of something burning (often destructive)

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