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 upThe 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 upchoked 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

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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 And Intel has the very important feature of being a very large throat to choke if something goes wrong. Brian Barrett, Wired, "Mobileye Puts Lidar on a Chip—and Helps Map Intel's Future," 11 Jan. 2021 These titanium-blade shears are ultra strong and didn't choke on the cut fibers. Matt Jancer, Wired, "Gear and Tips to Winter-Proof Your Home and Stay Warm," 3 Jan. 2021 Great blues have been known to choke to death trying to swallow a fish that’s too big. René A. Guzman, ExpressNews.com, "The great blue heron towers above other water birds," 29 Dec. 2020 Duke began to choke up after four senior players signed National Letters of Intent and shared their own words of gratitude while flanked by family and friends. J.c. Carnahan, orlandosentinel.com, "Edgewater hosts emotional football signing day ceremony," 16 Dec. 2020 Violations that saw a dramatic drop-off this September compared to last include toys with small parts, which can choke toddlers, and children’s products with hazardous levels of chemical phthalates. Brett Murphy, USA TODAY, "Leaked reports: Feds pulled toy police from ports, safety checks plunged in COVID-19," 11 Dec. 2020 Now much of the work at the site is devoted to management, especially removal of invasive species such as buckthorn and honeysuckle shrubs that choke out the understory. Paul Eisenberg, chicagotribune.com, "Landmarks: New Land and Water Reserve in Palos Park creates protective buffer between suburbia and nature," 1 Nov. 2020 Authorities said the man broke into the house and began to beat and choke the woman. Jessica Flores, USA TODAY, "Man who attacked ex-girlfriend killed by victim's mom and sister with golf club and kitchen knife, California police say," 30 Nov. 2020 Though modest in scale compared with other fires this season in Northern California, the smoke generated was enough to choke the skies as far east as Novato. Nora Mishanec, SFChronicle.com, "‘Silver lining’ in wake of Point Reyes wildfire," 10 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Remove the screw-in choke tube, and use a wire brush on the threads—both on the tube and in the barrel—to get grease and fouling out. Phil Bourjaily, Field & Stream, "How to Disassemble and Clean a Semi-Auto Shotgun," 4 Jan. 2021 The A-5s built in the late 1980s through 1998 had the new Invector choke system that accepted steel shot ammunition with no issues. John Gordon, Outdoor Life, "Are Today’s New Hunting Shotguns Really Worth the Price? Here Are 4 Used (and Cheaper) Models to Consider," 4 Jan. 2021 Situated on the Gulf of Aden, on the approach to a global shipping choke-point that leads to the Red Sea and Suez Canal, Somaliland has oil deposits that have been explored by companies including Genel Energy Plc. David Malingha, Bloomberg.com, "Kenya to Open Consulate in Breakaway Somali Region’s Capital," 16 Dec. 2020 The Federal Trade Commission and 48 states and territories hit the social-media giant with antitrust lawsuits on Wednesday, accusing the company of buying and freezing out small startups to choke competition. Francesca Fontana, WSJ, "DoorDash, Facebook, Walt Disney: Stocks That Defined the Week," 12 Dec. 2020 Then, in October 2019, the lawsuit says, Walder helped a child report to an administrator an incident in which the child had seen the daughter of the head of Hockaday’s lower school choke another student. Vandana Ravikumar, Dallas News, "Lawsuit alleges Dallas prep school dismissed complaints about teacher later arrested on child porn charges," 16 Nov. 2020 After the Force choke, viewers are already primed for it. Emma Grey Ellis, Wired, "All Baby Yoda Does Is Coo and Destroy Things," 12 Nov. 2020 What Gates seeks, in essence, is reform: fewer choke holds, more community policing. Daniel Immerwahr, The New Yorker, "Should America Still Police the World?," 18 Nov. 2020 The guns had straight grips, 22-inch barrels and choke tubes, weighed about 6 pounds, and were perfect guns for carrying and snap shooting in the brush. Phil Bourjaily, Field & Stream, "10 of the Best Shotguns for Woodcock Hunting," 20 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for choke

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for choke

Last Updated

22 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Choke.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/choke. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for choke

choke

verb
How to pronounce choke (audio)

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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