as·​phyx·​i·​ation | \ as-ˌfik-sē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce asphyxiation (audio) , əs- \

Definition of asphyxiation

: 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 The Connecticut Medical Examiner's Office later concluded that Reyes died of homicidal asphyxiation, prosecutors said in a statement Wednesday. Giulia Mcdonnell Nieto Del Rio And Laura Ly, CNN, "Man pleads guilty to killing a woman and dumping her body in Connecticut woods, officials say," 5 Feb. 2020 Further Reading Extreme heat of Vesuvius eruption vaporized body fluids, exploded skulls The vast majority of the victims died of asphyxiation, choking to death on the thick clouds of noxious gas and ash. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "The Mount Vesuvius eruption was so hot, one man’s brain turned to glass.," 22 Jan. 2020 Dopperfield died from asphyxiation due to strangulation, police said. oregonlive, "35 homicides in Portland in 2019 involved victims ranging in age from 18 to 65," 1 Jan. 2020 Alexis died from asphyxiation, medical examiners determined after performing an autopsy on her remains. Chris Harris,, "Roommate Suspected in Atlanta College Student's Murder Was a Close Friend, Family Says," 11 Nov. 2019 Three babies died of burns and five of asphyxiation, the emergency service said., "ALGIERS, Algeria — Eight newborns were killed Tuesday in a fire in the maternity wing of an Algerian hospital near the border with Tunisia, authorities said.," 25 Sep. 2019 Three babies died of burns and five of asphyxiation, the emergency service said. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Algeria says 8 newborns die in fire at maternity hospital," 24 Sep. 2019 Roberts-Joseph died of traumatic asphyxiation, including suffocation, according to an autopsy conducted Monday by the East Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office. Washington Post, "Man charged in death of black activist," 17 July 2019 Yves Gakuba, who had moved to Denver from Rwanda, died by asphyxiation and the death is a homicide, Denver’s Office of the Medical Examiner said in a Friday news release. Sam Tabachnik, The Denver Post, "Man found dead in alley died of asphyxiation; police searching for suspect," 6 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'asphyxiation.' 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 asphyxiation

1829, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of asphyxiation was in 1829

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Statistics for asphyxiation

Last Updated

26 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Asphyxiation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on asphyxiation

Spanish Central: Translation of asphyxiation

Nglish: Translation of asphyxiation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of asphyxiation for Arabic Speakers

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