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 death of Meriden mother Perrie Mason days after police said she was beaten and strangled by her ex-boyfriend, may be one of more than a half-dozen intimate partner homicides in Connecticut this year, according to a group of victim advocates. Christine Dempsey,, "Victim advocates: Meriden mom’s death likely 7th this year at hands of intimate partner," 26 Aug. 2019 Matthew Lamb was supposed to be assigned a dedicated staff member to watch over him 24 hours a day, but on at least two occasions he was strangled by other residents, the suit alleges., "$4.5 million lawsuit alleges abuse of developmentally disabled man at state-licensed group home," 11 Aug. 2019 But they have been hit by cars, clipped by bulky delivery trucks, strangled by drought, devoured by pests and poisoned by toxic waste from canines and others. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Whodunit? Case of the missing downtown San Diego trees," 9 Aug. 2019 Four others apparently were strangled by other inmates in the aftermath as prisoners were being transferred to supposedly safer lockups. Washington Post, "In Brazil, tough-on-crime approach packs prisons," 1 Aug. 2019 After one of Donna's friends claimed to have been strangled by the doll, the Warrens became involved in the case. Rosie Knight,, "Yep, Annabelle Comes Home Comes From A Spooky, Possibly True Story," 30 June 2019 Relatives and neighbors told The New York Times that Velasquez was raised by her grandmother, after witnessing the death of her pregnant mother, who was stabbed and strangled in 2006 by her partner. Paulina Dedaj, Fox News, "Bronx woman whose body was found in plastic bags in NYC is ID'd, 2 in custody," 29 Aug. 2018 Then known as Burma, the country was terrorized by a repressive military junta and strangled by international sanctions. Eli Meixler / Singapore, Time, "‘If I Give You Choice, I'm Showing Respect': How This Man Uses Design to Help the World’s Poorest Farmers," 2 Apr. 2018 Medical examiners concluded White was probably strangled with a sheet, towel or ‘‘crux of the elbow.’’ The officer who moved his body pleaded guilty to obstruction. Aaron C. Davis,, "Autopsy finds broken bones in Jeffrey Epstein’s neck, deepening questions around his death," 15 Aug. 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

18 Sep 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).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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