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verb \ˈchōk\

Simple Definition of choke

  • : to become unable to breathe usually because something gets stuck in your throat or because the air is not good for breathing

  • : to cause (someone) to stop breathing by squeezing the throat

  • : to make (someone) unable to breathe in a normal way

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of choke


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to check or block normal breathing of by compressing or obstructing the trachea or by poisoning or adulterating available air

  3. 2 a :  to check or hinder the growth, development, or activity of <the flowers were choked by the weeds> b :  to obstruct by filling up or clogging <leaves choked the drain> c :  to fill completely :  jam <roads choked with traffic>

  4. 3 :  to enrich the fuel mixture of (a motor) by partially shutting off the air intake of the carburetor

  5. 4 :  to grip (as a baseball bat) some distance from the end of the handle —usually used with up

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 :  to become choked in breathing <he choked on a bone>

  8. 2 a :  to become obstructed or checked b :  to become or feel constricted in the throat (as from strong emotion) —usually used with up <choked up and couldn't finish the speech>

  9. 3 :  to shorten one's grip especially on the handle of a bat —usually used with up

  10. 4 :  to lose one's composure and fail to perform effectively in a critical situation <had a chance to win the game but he choked>

Examples of choke in a sentence

  1. Chew your food well so you don't choke.

  2. We were choking on fumes.

  3. The thick smoke was choking me.

  4. The flowers were choked by the weeds.

Origin of choke

Middle English, alteration of achoken, from Old English ācēocian, from ā-, perfective prefix + cēoce, cēace jaw, cheek — more at abide, cheek

First Known Use: 14th century




Simple Definition of choke

  • : a part in a vehicle that controls the flow of air into the engine

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of choke

  1. 1 [by folk etymology from artichoke] :  the filamentous inedible center of an artichoke flower head; broadly :  an artichoke flower head

  2. 2 :  something that obstructs passage or flow: as a :  a valve for choking a gasoline engine b :  a constriction in an outlet (as of an oil well) that restricts flow c :  reactor 2 d :  a constriction (as a narrowing of the barrel or an attachment) at the muzzle of a shotgun that serves to limit the spread of shot

  3. 3 :  the act of choking


First Known Use of choke


Other Automotive Terms

CHOKE Defined for Kids


verb \ˈchōk\

Definition of choke for Students


  1. 1 :  to keep from breathing in a normal way by cutting off the supply of air <Many people were choked by thick smoke.>

  2. 2 :  to have the trachea blocked entirely or partly <He nearly choked on a bone.>

  3. 3 :  to slow or prevent the growth or action of <The flowers were choked by weeds.>

  4. 4 :  to block by clogging <Leaves choked the sewer.>

choke down
  1. :  to eat with difficulty <I choked down a bite.>

choke up
  1. :  to become too emotional to speak

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up choke? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to eat gluttonously or ravenously

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