stifle

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

Synonyms for stifle

Synonyms: Verb

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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 Already, there is precedent for vague doxxing rules being used to potentially stifle the free flow of information. Mary Hui, Quartz, 21 July 2021 The European Union said the closure of Apple Daily showed how the national security law was being used to stifle freedom of the press and freedom of expression. Candice Wong, Forbes, 23 June 2021 Mueller’s report quoted extensively from interviews with McGahn, who described the Republican president’s efforts to stifle the investigation. BostonGlobe.com, 4 June 2021 Mueller's report, which identified 10 instances in which Mr. Trump may have obstructed justice during the FBI's probe, quoted extensively from interviews with McGahn, who described the Republican president's efforts to stifle the investigation. CBS News, 4 June 2021 Mueller’s report quoted extensively from interviews with McGahn, who described the president’s efforts to stifle the investigation. Mary Clare Jalonick, Anchorage Daily News, 4 June 2021 While those governments have described the legislation as important to prevent falsehoods leading to threats to public safety and national security, critics say they have been used to stifle dissent. New York Times, 6 May 2021 The judge notes that the Times ruling occurred in unique historical circumstances—to wit, the struggle for civil rights when Southern politicians used defamation law to stifle reporting on and criticism of Jim Crow. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 22 Mar. 2021 Most savvy hiring managers are seeing that perfectionism is an issue that can stifle productivity and innovation. Adrian Gostick, Forbes, 2 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There’s nothing like playing the race or gender card to stifle criticism. Emma Colton, Washington Examiner, 14 Dec. 2020 Epic claims that Apple’s App Store rules stifle competition and run afoul of antitrust law. Katherine Riley, WSJ, 16 May 2021 The macro problem is that our public schools operate as monopolies that stifle competition, discourage innovation, and imprison kids in failing schools. BostonGlobe.com, 14 May 2021 There’s nothing like playing the race or gender card to stifle criticism. Emma Colton, Washington Examiner, 14 Dec. 2020 There’s nothing like playing the race or gender card to stifle criticism. Paul A. Gigot, WSJ, 13 Dec. 2020 Lawsuits that threaten to ban cutting-edge products, harm U.S. consumers, and stifle competition are precisely not what is needed. Ike Brannon, Forbes, 8 Apr. 2021 To further stifle excitement, Duggan warns ticketholders to not come to the city early. Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press, 30 Mar. 2021 Some nonprofit hospitals have engaged in price gouging, employed aggressive debt collection practices, and used various means to stifle competition. Ge Bai And David A. Hyman Reprints, STAT, 9 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for stifle

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near stifle

stiff upper lip

stifle

stifle bone

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Statistics for stifle

Last Updated

26 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stifle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stifle. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on stifle

Nglish: Translation of stifle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stifle for Arabic Speakers

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