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


choke, smother, stifle, suffocate

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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

The extradition issue became a priority after a crime that occurred more than a year ago, when a Hong Kong man traveled to Taiwan with his pregnant girlfriend and allegedly strangled her there. Natasha Khan, WSJ, "Hong Kong Upheaval Puts Beijing in a Bind," 16 June 2019 New Orleans police arrested a man accused of assaulting a woman in Audubon Park, then throwing her to the ground, strangling her and trying to rape her Saturday morning (June 8). Olivia Prentzel,, "Man accused of trying to rape woman in Audubon Park told police he ‘unknowingly entered’ women’s restroom," 12 June 2019 After hearing his mother cry out for help, the 8-year-old came into the bedroom and saw Jason Lindsey strangling her, the affidavit said. Karina Elwood,, "Boy, 8, called 911 to report mom being strangled. His stepfather now faces murder charge," 11 June 2019 Little would allegedly punch his victims and strangle them. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Convicted California murderer now linked to more than 60 deaths may be most prolific killer in US history," 9 June 2019 Kim has denied that the strangling economic sanctions had anything to do with his decision to come to the peace table. Hannah Wiley, USA TODAY, "From 'fire and fury' to potential peace: How Trump and Kim's relationship evolved," 9 May 2018 Salmon can have a hard time navigating a deeply forested lake to find food as juveniles or spawning areas as adults, and other fish can be flat out strangled in the lakes for lack of oxygen. Author: Elizabeth Earl, Anchorage Daily News, "Invasive elodea prompts closure of Susitna Valley lakes," 20 June 2019 The document revealed that police had responded to previous domestic violence calls involving the pair in which Condon allegedly strangled Jackson. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "Aurora woman allegedly killed by ex-boyfriend had reported prior alleged domestic violence to police," 13 June 2019 In addition to Lindsey and Booker, Brittany White, 29, was found dead in a car last October, Karla Patricia Flores-Pavon, 26, was strangled in May 2018, and Shade Schuler, 22, was gunned down in a field in 2015. NBC News, "Murders of black transgender women in Dallas raise fears in LGBTQ community," 10 June 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

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for strangle

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

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More Definitions for strangle



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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More from Merriam-Webster on strangle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with strangle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for strangle

Spanish Central: Translation of strangle

Nglish: Translation of strangle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of strangle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on strangle

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


something desired as essential

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