choke

verb
\ ˈchōk How to pronounce choke (audio) \
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
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 for choke

Synonyms: Verb

garrote (or garotte), strangle, suffocate, throttle

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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

President Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen got choked up near the end of his remarks and paused briefly to compose himself. Tom Hays, The Seattle Times, "‘Dirty deeds’: Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen gets 3 years in prison," 12 Dec. 2018 Two of the women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, who spoke on the record to the magazine, said they had been choked and hit repeatedly by Schneiderman. BostonGlobe.com, "New York’s attorney general, backer of #MeToo movement, resigns after women accuse him of abuse," 8 May 2018 History suggests that a cycle of tariffs and retaliations can eventually choke economic growth. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Voters already fear economic pain from Trump's trade war," 9 July 2018 People put to death via the electric chair often suffered graphic burns, while those who were put into gas chambers visibly choked to death. Abdullah Shihipar, Teen Vogue, "Lethal Injection Drugs and the Death Penalty, Explained," 30 Oct. 2018 Right now, our hearts are big and raw and sore from the absence of him, and my memories block out the reality of most days bringing choking sobs every night. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Radio Host Delilah Opens Up About Losing Her Teenage Son to Suicide In New Memoir," 22 Oct. 2018 That Hitler choked to death on a bone while ravenously eating gefilte fish. Johnny Miller, San Francisco Chronicle, "US ports closed to honor MLK," 28 Mar. 2018 Hitting, choking, pushing, and all other acts of violence are, of course, abuse. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "11 Signs of Emotional Abuse in Relationships That You Should Never Overlook," 20 Mar. 2018 When he was sent to save a boy choking on a hot dog, his team crawled through traffic for 21 minutes, arriving to find the boy had already died. Eliora Katz, WSJ, "Jews and Muslims Unite to Save Lives," 17 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The man gets something caught in his throat, chokes and dies. Stephanie Rosenbloom, New York Times, "On Eating Alone in Paris," 30 May 2018 The full-frontal comes to us courtesy of Batman: Damned #1, the first in a new limited series about the coc — *chokes* CAPED crusader. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "Thanks, I hate it," 21 Sep. 2018 Lamas throws Bektic down, but Bektic gets up immediately and looks for a choke. Todd Martin, latimes.com, "Ricardo Lamas vs. Mirsad Bektic live round-by-round coverage," 10 June 2018 Coulter gives his back and De La Rocha looks to lock in a rear naked choke. Todd Martin, latimes.com, "Rashad Coulter vs. Chris De La Rocha live round-by-round coverage," 10 June 2018 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

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 and Noun

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

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Dictionary Entries near choke

choirwise

Choiseul

Choisy

choke

choke back

chokeberry

chokebore

Statistics for choke

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

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 How to pronounce choke (audio) \
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 How to pronounce choke (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on choke

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with choke

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for choke

Spanish Central: Translation of choke

Nglish: Translation of choke for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of choke for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about choke

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