as·​phyx·​i·​ation as-ˌfik-sē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce asphyxiation (audio)
: deprivation of oxygen that can result in unconsciousness and often death : an act of asphyxiating a person or animal or a state of asphyxia : suffocation
The autopsy showed that the cause of death was asphyxiation.
Pliny the Elder did not die of falling pumice, but of asphyxiation, as he breathed noxious fumes from the eruption.Sidney Perkowitz
Asphyxiation at birth caused permanent impairment of his nerve-signaling system …Ann Geracimos
In rats, mice, and rabbits ciguatera poison causes death by asphyxiation.Kwang-ming Li

Examples of asphyxiation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web An autopsy report showed Tucker died from asphyxiation and that finger marks were found around her neck, according to the state’s attorney’s office. Sean Neumann, Peoplemag, 24 Aug. 2023 The medical examiner eventually determined her death to be a homicide and pointed to two causes — ethylene glycol poisoning and asphyxiation. Tim Stelloh, NBC News, 12 Oct. 2023 An older review lists drowning and near-drowning, as well as asphyxiation as risks of possible water birth complications. Bekka Besich, Parents, 3 Sep. 2023 Gein’s brother Henry passed away in 1944 at age 43 from asphyxiation following a mysterious fire. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, 24 Sep. 2023 Many of those killed were trampled to death or died from asphyxiation and other breathing problems, officials said. Heather Chen, CNN, 30 Sep. 2023 The baby was found on an infant lounger, which can be a risk for asphyxiation and suffocation. Beth Ann Mayer, Parents, 22 June 2023 Government pathologists have said that some victims died of asphyxiation and strangulation. Anna Gordon, Time, 15 June 2023 Bodies Found on Chad Daybell's Property Belonged to Children, Prosecutors Say During opening statements at the trial, Fremont County Prosecuting Attorney Lindsey Blake declared that Tammy's cause of death was asphyxiation. Michael Lee Simpson, Peoplemag, 6 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'asphyxiation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1829, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of asphyxiation was in 1829

Dictionary Entries Near asphyxiation

Cite this Entry

“Asphyxiation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

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