asphyxiate

verb
as·​phyx·​i·​ate | \ as-ˈfik-sē-ˌāt How to pronounce asphyxiate (audio) , əs-\
asphyxiated; asphyxiating

Definition of asphyxiate

transitive verb

: to cause asphyxia in : to kill, suspend animation in, or make unconscious through want of adequate oxygen, presence of noxious agents, or other obstruction to normal breathing The murder victim was asphyxiated.

intransitive verb

: to become asphyxiated … ended in several deaths, including that of a … secretary who asphyxiated during a smoke bombing.— Robert I. Friedman

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Examples of asphyxiate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Because people with suicidal thoughts often spend their time searching for methods to end their lives, jail experts say suicide watch cells should not contain anything a person can use to asphyxiate or cut themselves. Jason Pohl, ProPublica, "A Jail Increased Extreme Isolation to Stop Suicides. More People Killed Themselves.," 5 Nov. 2019 Good group decision-making needs oxygen, and if the boss sucks it out of the room, some idea or someone is going to be asphyxiated. Neil Senturia, San Diego Union-Tribune, "When the boss needs to step down from the podium and let others speak," 23 Sep. 2019 The police said on Wednesday that Eaton was asphyxiated. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "The body of Oakland native Suzanne Eaton was found in a former Nazi bunker in Greece," 11 July 2019 Officials say 58 people were decapitated or asphyxiated by the fire. Washington Post, "In Brazil, tough-on-crime approach packs prisons," 1 Aug. 2019 There is the body of a rabbit, asphyxiated by carbon monoxide in the garage, honored and painstakingly restored. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "Taxidermy Is a Metaphor for Our Time," 21 Aug. 2019 That had to have been a [lesson in how] to asphyxiate yourself. Clark Collis, EW.com, "Brendan Fraser got 'fully choked-out' shooting The Mummy," 23 July 2019 Neighbors discover a notorious poacher asphyxiated in his cabin; soon after, the body of a police commander turns up at the bottom of a well. Julian Lucas, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 22 July 2019 On May 7, two were asphyxiated inside a septic tank in West Delhi’s Rohini. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "India’s most demeaning job killed over 100 people in two years, but is anyone bothered?," 28 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'asphyxiate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of asphyxiate

1836, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for asphyxiate

see asphyxia

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Statistics for asphyxiate

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for asphyxiate

The first known use of asphyxiate was in 1836

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More Definitions for asphyxiate

asphyxiate

verb
as·​phyx·​i·​ate | \ as-ˈfik-sē-ˌāt How to pronounce asphyxiate (audio) \
asphyxiated; asphyxiating

Kids Definition of asphyxiate

: to cause (as a person) to become unconscious or die by cutting off the normal taking in of oxygen whether by blocking breathing or by replacing the oxygen of the air with another gas

asphyxiate

verb
as·​phyx·​i·​ate | \ -sē-ˌāt How to pronounce asphyxiate (audio) \
asphyxiated; asphyxiating

Medical Definition of asphyxiate

transitive verb

: to cause asphyxia in also : to kill or make unconscious through inadequate oxygen, presence of noxious agents, or other obstruction to normal breathing

Other Words from asphyxiate

asphyxiation \ -​ˌfik-​sē-​ˈā-​shən How to pronounce asphyxiation (audio) \ noun
asphyxiator \ -​ˈfik-​sē-​ˌāt-​ər How to pronounce asphyxiator (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on asphyxiate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for asphyxiate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with asphyxiate

Spanish Central: Translation of asphyxiate

Nglish: Translation of asphyxiate for Spanish Speakers

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