stifle

verb
sti·​fle | \ ˈstī-fəl \
stifled; stifling\ ˈstī-​f(ə-​)liŋ \

Definition of stifle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to withhold from circulation or expression stifled our anger
b : to cut off (the voice, the breath, etc.)
2a(1) : muffle
(2) : smother
b : to kill by depriving of oxygen : suffocate

intransitive verb

: to be or become unable to breathe easily stifling in the heat

stifle

noun

Definition of stifle (Entry 2 of 2)

: the joint next above the hock in the hind leg of a quadruped (such as a horse or dog) corresponding to the human knee — see horse illustration

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Other Words from stifle

Verb

stifler \ ˈstī-​f(ə-​)lər \ noun
stiflingly \ ˈstī-​f(ə-​)liŋ-​lē \ adverb

Synonyms for stifle

Synonyms: Verb

choke, smother, strangle, suffocate

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Examples of stifle in a Sentence

Verb

trying to stifle a cry I had to stifle the desire to yell “Stop!”. Students at the school are stifled by the pressure to score high on tests. Too many regulations stifle innovation. something that stifles the growth of the plant I wish we could go outside instead of stifling in this tiny room. He was almost stifled by the smoke.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But internal documents later surfaced that indicated the FTC’s board had brushed off some recommendations of staff lawyers who believed Google was tinkering with its search results in way that stifled competition. Michael Liedtke, The Seattle Times, "Google grilled in Congress: What’s ahead for tech companies," 12 Dec. 2018 But Girona stifled Barcelona’s attack and threatened to equalize on several occasions through striker Cristhian Stuani. Joseph Wilson, The Seattle Times, "‘Leo never misses’: Messi scores again as Barca beats Girona," 27 Jan. 2019 But innovation could be stifled if ISPs don’t give every application fair access to their network resources. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Study Shows Just How Mobile Providers Throttle Your Internet," 11 Sep. 2018 The air is stifling, spring's perennials are dead and drooping on the sidewalk, and the streets are hot enough to fry an egg — and summer's hot new look is bringing us a whole new color palette, too. refinery29.com, "Summer's Coolest Launches Are Bringing The Heat Wave To Your Makeup Bag," 11 July 2018 But Berkman stifled the comeback bid taking control of the ball and dodging his way through the Lake Minneola defense to expire the clock. OrlandoSentinel.com, "Mikey Berkman breaks points record," 20 Apr. 2018 In his side's first match, Neymar suffered 10 fouls on his own, as the Swiss opted for a physical brand of defending to stifle the powerful Seleção. Avi Creditor, SI.com, "LIVE: Brazil Faces Upstart Costa Rica in World Cup Group E Clash," 22 June 2018 Their romance is a study of love and difference, of how pity and paternalism can stifle true communication. Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker, "A Deaf Romance on Broadway in “Children of a Lesser God”," 15 Mar. 2018 The Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) published a report in 2016 that argued that the Ugandan government was stifling digital rights. Damilola Odutayo, CNN, "People in Uganda now have to pay tax to use WhatsApp and other social media," 1 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The government did not appear to prove its case that a bulked-up AT&T would harm consumers and stifle competition. Brooks Barnes, New York Times, "As Disney Moves Forward With Fox, Comcast Continues Plotting," 20 May 2018 Clyde the Belgian came to Hay Burr Inn with a stifle injury. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Working Small Miracles At Hay Burr Inn Equine Rescue," 19 Sep. 2017 The company created what is called a stifle brace for Fievel, a black Lab mix who suffers from a painful torn ACL. Stacey Delikat, Fox News, "Prosthetic limbs offering pets a new 'leash' on life," 3 July 2017

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

Verb

1513, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2b

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stifle

Verb

alteration of Middle English stuflen

Noun

Middle English

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Learn More about stifle

Statistics for stifle

Last Updated

20 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stifle

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

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More Definitions for stifle

stifle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of stifle

: to not allow yourself to do or express (something)
: to stop (someone) from doing or expressing something
: to make (something) difficult or impossible

stifle

verb
sti·​fle | \ ˈstī-fəl \
stifled; stifling

Kids Definition of stifle

1 : to cause or have difficulty in breathing The room was hot and stifling.
2 : to keep in check by effort I had to stifle a laugh.

stifle

noun
sti·​fle | \ ˈstī-fəl \

Medical Definition of stifle

: the joint next above the hock in the hind leg of a quadruped (as a horse) corresponding to the knee in humans

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More from Merriam-Webster on stifle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stifle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stifle

Spanish Central: Translation of stifle

Nglish: Translation of stifle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stifle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on stifle

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excited commotion or publicity

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