Definition of suffocate
1a (1) : to stop the respiration of (as by strangling or asphyxiation) (2) : to deprive of oxygenb : to make uncomfortable by want of fresh air
2 : to impede or stop the development of
1 : to become suffocated:a (1) : to die from being unable to breathe (2) : to die from lack of oxygenb : to be uncomfortable through lack of fresh air
2 : to become checked in development
suffocationplay \ˌsə-fə-ˈkā-shən\ noun
suffocativeplay \ˈsə-fə-ˌkā-tiv\ adjective
Examples of suffocate in a sentence
Don't put that pillow over her face—she could suffocate.
The poor dog could suffocate in the car on a hot day like this.
The victims were found suffocated.
Origin and Etymology of suffocate
Middle English, from Latin suffocatus, past participle of suffocare to choke, stifle, from sub- + fauces throat
First Known Use: 15th century
SUFFOCATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of suffocate for English Language Learners
: to die because you are unable to breathe
: to kill (someone) by making breathing impossible
: to be uncomfortable because there is not enough fresh air
SUFFOCATE Defined for Kids
Definition of suffocate for Students
1 : to kill by stopping the breathing of or by depriving of oxygen to breathe
2 : to die from being unable to breathe
3 : to be or become choked or smothered <Weeds are suffocating the flowers we planted.>
4 : to suffer from lack of fresh air
Seen and Heard
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