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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The new rule is stifling business at Outdoor World Capitola, Hunting Department Manager Noah Sherin said Monday. Don Thompson, The Mercury News, "Ammo purchase slows after new California background check law starts," 2 July 2019 Noncompetes harm employees, damage the companies who require them, and stifle innovation. Ellen Rubin, Fortune, "Most States Still Enforce Noncompete Agreements—And It's Stifling Innovation," 26 June 2019 The two groups said that the renter protection measures would stifle the homebuilding needed in California to counteract a shortage of available homes. Liam Dillon, latimes.com, "How California’s big plans to address housing affordability crashed," 4 June 2019 And in fact, his presence during both of the past two seasons might have stifled the breakouts of Dejounte Murray and Derrick White, who now represent the key to the franchise’s future. Mike Finger, ExpressNews.com, "Two years later, Spurs learning what they missed," 22 June 2019 The suit was fuzzy and stifling, but Phil wore it to every community event. Lizzie Johnson, SFChronicle.com, "‘He tried to make Paradise all its name implied’: Long after the Camp Fire, resident’s death opens wounds," 21 June 2019 Republicans who control the General Assembly have repeatedly stifled efforts to consider any form of gun control. Jenna Portnoy, Washington Post, "Wexton wants to reinstate gun silencer regulation after Virginia Beach shooting," 21 June 2019 The demonstrators, mostly teenagers and people in their 20s dressed in black, filled the main roads around the police complex in stifling 90-degree weather, chanting calls for the authorities to release protesters who were arrested last week. Daniel Victor, BostonGlobe.com, "Hong Kong protests resume as police headquarters is surrounded," 21 June 2019 Their defense is stifling, and the offense is finding its feet. oregonlive.com, "NFL 2019: Predicting the NFC’s division winners," 20 June 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stifle

Statistics for stifle

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stifle

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up stifle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!