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

He is accused of beating and choking his wife, Jovita Nunez, 55, to death, then cutting his wrists and stabbing himself in the chest, police said. Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora man accused of beating, choking his wife to death in attempted murder-suicide," 27 Apr. 2018 The state’s penny-pinching school funding program has choked educational resources here and the General Electric Transportation Plant has been transferring thousands of jobs here to Texas and elsewhere. Noble Ingram, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Our Towns' finds optimism in America's smaller cities," 12 June 2018 Here is the lead anecdote: Ann Carrigan needs a special wheelchair to prevent her from choking. Dylan Scott, Vox, "How much money is Iowa saving by privatizing Medicaid? It’s a mystery.," 21 May 2018 The course combines basic CPR skills training and anti-choking methods with practice using a defibrillator. Linda Mcintosh, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Women's club serves up beer, wine at Fair ...community events," 21 June 2018 One former high-ranking USA Gymnastics official choked back tears. Tim Evans, Indianapolis Star, "5 takeaways from the U.S. Senate hearing about Larry Nassar," 5 June 2018 The fair will provide information on several aspects of safety for children, including bike safety, burn and fire safety, water safety, poison safety and choking safety, said Neil Tarzy of the Poway Kiwanis Club. Emily Sorensen, Pomerado News, "Kids Safety Fair returns for third year on April 28," 19 Apr. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

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

27 Oct 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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