choke

verb
\ ˈchōk \
choked; choking

Definition of choke 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to check or block normal breathing of by compressing or obstructing the trachea or by poisoning or adulterating available air The unwary guard was choked to death by a prisoner.

2a : 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

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

4 : to grip (something, such as a baseball bat) some distance from the end of the handle usually used with up The batter choked up the bat and cut down his swing.

intransitive verb

1 : to become choked in breathing He choked on a bone.

2a : to become obstructed or checked

b : to become or feel constricted (see constrict sense 1) in the throat (as from strong emotion) usually used with up choked up and couldn't finish the speech

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

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

choke

noun

Definition of choke (Entry 2 of 2)

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

2 : something that obstructs passage or flow: such as

a : a valve for choking (see choke entry 1 sense 3) a gasoline engine

b : a constriction in an outlet (as of an oil well) that restricts flow

c : reactor sense 2

d : a constriction (such as a narrowing of the barrel or an attachment) at the muzzle (see muzzle entry 1 sense 3) of a shotgun that serves to limit the spread of shot

3 : the act of choking A few chokes dislodged the food in her throat.

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Synonyms & Antonyms for choke

Synonyms: Verb

block, clog, clot, congest, dam, gum (up), jam, obstruct, occlude, plug (up), stop (up), stuff

Antonyms: Verb

clear, free, open (up), unblock, unclog, unplug, unstop

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Examples of choke in a Sentence

Verb

Chew your food well so you don't choke. We were choking on fumes. The thick smoke was choking me. The flowers were choked by the weeds.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Some were twitching or choking, like soldiers in a Wilfred Owen poem. The Economist, "On the hanging of Shoko Asahara, Japan’s nerve-gas guru," 12 July 2018 Azealia originally filed a battery report against Russell Crowe, claiming she was choked, spit on, and called a racial slur by the 54-year-old in October 2016. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Azealia Banks Starts GoFundMe to Sue Russell Crowe," 28 June 2018 And he gets choked up when talking about how good Charlotte has been to him and his family — including Savannah, the budding musical star. Tim Funk, charlotteobserver, "Legally blind, she never could see her dad play for the Panthers. Now he cheers for her.," 15 June 2018 Here's a closeup of our new favorite actor: Nathan Lane got choked up talking about his husband. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "9 Things You Missed During the 2018 Tony Awards Last Night," 11 June 2018 His opponent in the semifinals Friday will be Juan Martin del Potro, who got choked up after waiting nearly a decade to return to the final four in Paris — and dealing with three wrist operations in the interim. Howard Fendrich, BostonGlobe.com, "Rafael Nadal is back in French Open semifinals," 7 June 2018 Police told Dallas' NBC 5 that she had been choked to death. Brooke Sopelsa /, NBC News, "Two transgender women found dead in Dallas in less than a week," 16 May 2018 Fox 8 reported the staffer is accused of choking an offender while the youth was being escorted to a dorm. Michelle Hunter, NOLA.com, "8 Bridge City Youth Center inmates arrested in recent guard attacks," 9 May 2018 The bomb exploded on August 21, 1989 and engulfed NAACP employees in clouds of choking gas. Kent Faulk, AL.com, "'Why my dad?' Judge recalls father's legacy as bomber's execution nears," 18 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Pettis then grabs a triangle choke, transitions to an arm bar, and gets the submission. Todd Martin, latimes.com, "Michael Chiesa vs. Anthony Pettis live round-by-round coverage," 8 July 2018 Pettis looks for the finish with a guillotine choke but doesn’t get it. Todd Martin, latimes.com, "Michael Chiesa vs. Anthony Pettis live round-by-round coverage," 8 July 2018 But a front-rim job by a good shooter who just made one in a high-pressure situation — that’s a choke. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, "Game 2: Cavs have a Draymond problem," 3 June 2018 The man gets something caught in his throat, chokes, and dies. Dana Snitzky, Longreads, "Eating Alone," 6 July 2018 Then, when the petals are all gone, scoop off the fuzzy choke and savor the soft heart, dunking it in even more butter. Melissa Clark, New York Times, "Diving Into the Artichoke, That Delicious Mess," 4 May 2018 From its game one masterpiece against Germany to the emotion of surviving despite a choke job against Sweden, there’s been a glut of entertainment from an unpredictable team. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "World Cup: Ranking the matchups in the Round of 16," 29 June 2018 But even a slight change in nutrients commonly found in farm fields or canals that contain stormwater runoff can cause heavy damage and choke marshes with cattails. Jenny Staletovich, miamiherald, "Could raising a 90-year-old road fix South Florida's water problems?," 18 June 2018 Then, when the petals are all gone, scoop off the fuzzy choke and savor the soft heart, dunking it in even more butter. Melissa Clark, New York Times, "Diving Into the Artichoke, That Delicious Mess," 4 May 2018

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

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1736, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for choke

Verb

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

Noun

see choke entry 1

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Learn More about choke

Dictionary Entries near choke

choirwise

Choiseul

Choisy

choke

choke back

chokeberry

chokebore

Statistics for choke

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for choke

The first known use of choke was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for choke

choke

verb

English Language Learners Definition of choke

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

choke

noun

English Language Learners Definition of choke (Entry 2 of 2)

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

choke

verb
\ ˈchōk \
choked; choking

Kids Definition of choke

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

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

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

4 : to block by clogging Leaves choked the sewer.

choke down

: to eat with difficulty I choked down a bite.

choke up

: to become too emotional to speak

choke

verb
\ ˈchōk \
choked; choking

Medical Definition of choke 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to keep from breathing in a normal way by compressing or obstructing the trachea or by poisoning or adulterating available air

intransitive verb

: to have the trachea blocked entirely or partly

choke

noun

Medical Definition of choke (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of choking

2 chokes plural : pulmonary manifestations of decompression sickness including shortness of breath, chest pain, and cough used with the

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Comments on choke

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