stifle

verb
sti·​fle | \ ˈstī-fəl How to pronounce stifle (audio) \
stifled; stifling\ ˈstī-​f(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce stifling (audio) \

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 How to pronounce stifler (audio) \ noun
stiflingly \ ˈstī-​f(ə-​)liŋ-​lē How to pronounce stiflingly (audio) \ 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

His home Anarres, while a utopia in the eyes of many who cannot live there, stifles his intellectual freedom. Vox Staff, Vox, "The most thought-provoking books the Vox staff read in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 An economic slowdown would likely lead the Fed to throttle back on its rate increases to avoid stifling growth. Martin Crutsinger, Fox News, "Fed watchers seek hints about future rates amid likely hike," 24 Sep. 2018 Dylan Mahon reached for the royal’s facial hair as Harry playfully grimaced and Meghan stifled a laugh. Erin Hill, PEOPLE.com, "This Toddler Couldn't Stop Touching Meghan Markle's Hair and Prince Harry Wasn't Having It!," 11 July 2018 The sides have fought three wars over the past decade, and Israel and Egypt have maintained a stifling blockade on the territory to weaken Hamas. Fares Akram, The Seattle Times, "After deadly protests, rockets fly and Israel strikes Gaza," 26 Oct. 2018 And will Sabrina really do the Dark Lord’s bidding after a full season of questioning her devotion to the Church of Night and its stifling rules? Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, ""Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" Season 2: Questions We Need to Be Answered After That Finale," 26 Oct. 2018 The stifling Pioneers defense yielded 16 turnovers in the first half, which was played with a 20-minute running clock. Jeff Tully, latimes.com, "LoVett, Providence defense hold Burbank at bay in summer girls' basketball," 11 July 2018 New America, as it is now called, was meant to be bipartisan or post-partisan, a haven for quirky, odd-ball thinkers who were willing to think outside the stifling political spectrum. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "CEO of Google-funded think tank argues “Google is a person.”," 25 June 2018 Despite the stifling humidity and upper-70 degree weather, the coach cited superstition as his reason for wearing a long-sleeve, button-down shirt. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville City FC keeps passing the tests in its U.S. Open Cup run," 21 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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Statistics for stifle

Last Updated

17 Apr 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 How to pronounce stifle (audio) \
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 How to pronounce stifle (audio) \

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

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