smoldering; smoldered; smolders
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 smoldered for years before the outbreak of the Civil War. And if your school cafeteria eliminates tater tots from the menu, students' smoldering dissatisfaction with the menu options might erupt into all-out food fight.
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