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.
Recent Examples of suffocate from the Web
Authorities said Deal suffocated and was found dead the next day as temperatures surpassed 100 degrees.
The Bridge family’s material needs are all met — and yet confusion and futility close in and suffocate them.
A Laurinburg woman has been charged with attempting to murder her 1-year-old son, after she was allegedly caught on surveillance video trying suffocate the boy at Levine Children’s Hospital, according to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police report.
Prosecutors say he had been drugged, suffocated with a plastic bag, hogtied and strapped to a plastic slide.
Meanwhile, the pleasure and benefit of those services dwindles by the day, as conflict and exhaustion suffocate delight and utility.
In the penultimate episode, an untrained guard, Bayley (Alan Aisenberg), inadvertently suffocated Poussey while restraining her during a protest.
Switching, swarming and, at times, suffocating defense.
Metropolitan Manila police chief says 36 people suffocated in a casino-hotel complex from smoke set off by gunman.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'suffocate'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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 centurySee Words from the same year
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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