stran·​gle | \ ˈstraŋ-gəl How to pronounce strangle (audio) \
strangled; strangling\ ˈstraŋ-​g(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce strangling (audio) \

Definition of strangle

transitive verb

1a : to choke to death by compressing the throat with something (such as a hand or rope) : throttle
b : to obstruct seriously or fatally the normal breathing of
c : stifle
2 : to suppress or hinder the rise, expression, or growth of repression strangles free speech

intransitive verb

1 : to become strangled
2 : to die from or as if from interference with breathing

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Other Words from strangle

strangler \ ˈstraŋ-​g(ə-​)lər How to pronounce strangler (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for strangle


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Examples of strangle in a Sentence

The weeds are strangling the plant. The company is trying to strangle the smaller competition.
Recent Examples on the Web Presented to her, Ms Jini didn’t waste a moment and told her the 25% tax was strangling her orchestra. Genesia Alves, Quartz India, "Why does Mumbai need the Bombay Chamber Orchestra? Its 90-year-old founder tries to answer," 12 Sep. 2019 Bowles, 57, is to be executed for the 1994 murder of a Jacksonville man who was hit in the head with a concrete block and strangled during a robbery., "Florida First Lady to skip Trump rally because of execution," 20 Aug. 2019 Stephen VI was imprisoned and strangled to death in jail a few months after the Cadaver Synod. National Geographic, "In 897, the corpse of a pope was exhumed—to be put on trial.," 20 Aug. 2019 Officials said in court Monday that Burgess strangled the teen before slitting her throat but did not elaborate on what led up to the crime, CNN affiliate WSOC reported. Hollie Silverman, CNN, "A father walked into a sheriff's office and reportedly told a dispatcher he killed someone. The victim was his daughter," 20 Aug. 2019 When not in use, the loop around the limb is relaxed, which allows the tree to grow without strangling or girdling it. Bradley Ford, Popular Mechanics, "How to Hang a Rope Swing in Your Favorite Tree," 8 Aug. 2019 While everyone makes amyloid, in some, the protein is produced in abnormally copious amounts that clump together and form plaques in the brain, which experts believe start to strangle nerves and sever their critical connections to each other. Alice Park, Time, "A New Alzheimer's Blood Test Proved 94% Accurate in Finding Brain Changes Related to the Disease," 1 Aug. 2019 Ball wrote in the letter, which was sent at the request of officials with I.M.P., Billboard has learned, to demonstrate that organizers would not have faced the same permitting problems in Maryland that strangled the event in Vernon Downs. Dave Brooks, Billboard, "Inside the Final Days of Woodstock 50," 31 July 2019 Once called to testify that a husband strangled his wife with one of her old, worn bras, Lee anticipated a defense challenge that the old undergarment would have broken or torn. Edmund H. Mahony,, "More than three decades later, troubling questions and contradictions remain about two murder convictions and the role of forensic scientist Henry Lee," 23 July 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for strangle

Middle English, from Anglo-French estrangler, from Latin strangulare, from Greek strangalan, from strangalē halter — more at strain

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Statistics for strangle

Last Updated

30 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for strangle

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

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More Definitions for strangle


How to pronounce strangle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of strangle

: to kill (a person or animal) by squeezing the throat
: to stop (something) from growing or developing


stran·​gle | \ ˈstraŋ-gəl How to pronounce strangle (audio) \
strangled; strangling

Kids Definition of strangle

1 : to choke to death by squeezing the throat
2 : to die or suffer from or as if from being choked

Other Words from strangle

strangler \ -​glər \ noun


stran·​gle | \ ˈstraŋ-gəl How to pronounce strangle (audio) \
strangled; strangling\ -​g(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce strangling (audio) \

Medical Definition of strangle

transitive verb

1 : to choke to death by compressing the throat with something (as a hand or rope)
2 : to obstruct seriously or fatally the normal breathing of the bone wedged in his throat and strangled him

intransitive verb

1 : to become strangled : undergo a severe interference with breathing
2 : to die from interference with breathing

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Comments on strangle

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an agreement to stop fighting a war

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