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

The Narrator has conjured up a stronger, more confident character to anonymously act out the darker impulses stifled by civil society—rather like an anonymous online avatar. N.e.g., The Economist, "“Fight Club” presaged the darker corners of the internet," 10 Sep. 2019 Tempe’s offense was stifled all night by McClintock’s defense. Staff, azcentral, "Arizona high school football Week 3 roundup: Perry outlasts Red Mountain in 4OT Thriller," 6 Sep. 2019 But stifled by Nkomo’s autocratic leadership, Mr. Mugabe and a group of insurgents walked out three years later to form the rival ZANU-PF. Glenn Frankel, Washington Post, "Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwean leader who helped liberate and destroy his country, dies at 95," 6 Sep. 2019 And local efforts to build not-for-profit or small-scale municipal networks have been stifled by competition from major telecoms corporations. Shirin Ghaffary, Vox, "America has a terrible digital divide. Elizabeth Warren has a plan for that too.," 7 Aug. 2019 In a twist that reflects Gabbard’s unorthodox political views, the claim that her speech was stifled by Google is similar to complaints made over the last year in Republican circles. Daisuke Wakabayashi, BostonGlobe.com, "Tulsi Gabbard, Democratic presidential candidate, sues Google," 25 July 2019 Or could be stifled by what may prove to be a tax too far. Roy S. Johnson | Rjohnson@al.com, al.com, "Johnson: Moratorium, surcharge unveil intriguing battle over control of city’s growth," 4 July 2019 The talisman linked up well with Sergio Agüero on occasion but was always stifled by a resilant Colombia defence. SI.com, "Copa América Recap: Colombia Sink Argentina as VAR Denies Peru in Draw With Venezuela," 16 June 2019 Alibaba’s burgeoning e-payment business has been stifled by a series of curbs. Jesse M. Fried And Matthew Schoenfeld, WSJ, "Will China Cheat American Investors?," 13 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The battle will require the tech execs to mobilize lawyers, lobbyists and PR teams to convince regulators, legislators and the media that their companies do not harm consumers or stifle competition. Dylan Byers, NBC News, "Mark Zuckerberg's next FTC fight could be tougher," 25 July 2019 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

16 Oct 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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