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 Lopez-Araiza's 21-year-old daughter, Genesis Lopez-Araiza, and her son's 18-year-old girlfriend, Trinity Clyde, suffered blunt force trauma and were strangled to death, Pust said. Christina Carrega, ABC News, "Couple arrested for allegedly killing roommates over 'rental dispute,' police said," 22 Feb. 2020 Maria Fuertes was found raped and strangled on a Queens sidewalk in the early morning hours of Jan. 6 and died at the hospital later that day. Andrew Mark Miller, Washington Examiner, "ICE distributes list of illegal immigrant fugitives released by NYC," 18 Jan. 2020 Their mother, Nyesha Crockett, told doctors the girl had been accidentally strangled on a scarf, but records showed the state’s Department of Child Services suspected maltreatment. Jessica Huseman, ProPublica, "The Price of America’s Inability to Track Child Deaths from Abuse and Neglect? Sometimes, More Lives.," 18 Dec. 2019 According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Fulton County Superior Court documents report that the 21-year-old senior was strangled to death and smothered with a plastic bag before her body was put in a plastic bin and dumped in a park. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Alexis Crawford Was Strangled To Death, According To Warrants," 13 Nov. 2019 From an irredentist Kremlin trying to strangle Ukraine, to a savage regime in Caracas brutalizing its population, American shell companies have been a humanitarian nightmare—and a burgeoning threat to the global democratic order. Casey Michel, The New Republic, "How to Stop Kleptocrats From Stashing Their Cash in America," 18 Sep. 2019 Dabney then admitted to strangling and choking the dog and trying to drown it in a toilet before placing the dog in an Amazon Prime box and throwing it in a dumpster outside, according to police. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky man tried to drown dog before throwing it in a dumpster, police say," 27 Feb. 2020 Police say Harwick was strangled and thrown from her third-floor balcony in the Hollywood Hills on Feb. 15. CBS News, "Drew Carey says slain ex-fiancee Amie Harwick "didn't deserve to die like she did"," 24 Feb. 2020 She was pronounced dead at 9:18 a.m. The Marion County coroner's office said Morey was stabbed multiple times and strangled. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis man charged in 2019 murder of homeless woman in Fountain Square church," 23 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for strangle

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for strangle

Last Updated

19 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Strangle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2020.

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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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