throttle

1 of 2

verb

throt·​tle ˈthrä-tᵊl How to pronounce throttle (audio)
throttled; throttling ˈthrät-liŋ How to pronounce throttle (audio)
ˈthrä-tᵊl-iŋ
; throttles

transitive verb

1
a(1)
: to compress the throat of : choke
(2)
: to kill by such action
b
: to prevent or check expression or activity of : suppress
policies that throttle creativity
c
US, informal : to defeat easily or completely
The Jets went to Miami and throttled the Dolphins.Judy Battista
2
a
: to decrease the flow of (something, such as steam or fuel to an engine) by a valve
b
: to regulate and especially to reduce the speed of (something, such as an engine) by such means
c
: to vary the thrust of (a rocket engine) during flight
3
: to limit or reduce (the bandwidth available to users of an electronic communication system, such as the Internet) : to subject to throttling (see throttling sense 2)
The company throttles data access for customers who use a lot of data during moments of network congestion …Matt Day

intransitive verb

: to throttle something (something, such as an engine)
usually used with back or down
the pilot throttled back
throttler
ˈthrät-lər How to pronounce throttle (audio)
ˈthrä-tᵊl-ər
noun

throttle

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: a valve for regulating the supply of a fluid (such as steam) to an engine
especially : the valve controlling the volume of vaporized fuel charge delivered to the cylinders of an internal combustion engine
b
: the lever controlling this valve
c
: the condition of being throttled
2
Phrases
at full throttle
: at full speed
the project is proceeding at full throttle

Examples of throttle in a Sentence

Noun When you press a car's accelerator, it opens the throttle, and the car goes faster.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Republican lawmakers in Texas and Florida argue that social media companies have been too quick to throttle conservative viewpoints. USA TODAY, 25 Feb. 2024 In a Curb Your Enthusiasm plot come to life, ahead of his own segment later that morning, David ran onto the show’s set and throttled the beloved puppet while the cohosts looked on in horror. Hannah Jackson, Vogue, 2 Feb. 2024 And really, is there anyone over age 5 who can't identify with the urge to throttle Elmo? TIME, 2 Feb. 2024 Hollywood, meanwhile, is still recovering from a rare double strike of writers and actors that throttled mainstream film and television production for nearly half a year and concluded earlier in the month. Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 Nov. 2023 The white paper also effectively throttled Jewish immigration, which was always the single largest thorn of contention between Jews and Palestinians. Emily Bazelon, New York Times, 1 Feb. 2024 The Bearcats will continue to face and throttle regular season opponents and extend their 119-game district win streak. Charles Baggarly, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 1 Feb. 2024 The Falcon 9, using a first stage booster making its 10th flight, thundered to life at 12:07 p.m. EST, throttled up and climbed away from pad 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. William Harwood, CBS News, 30 Jan. 2024 The indictment alleges a co-defendant supplied Nadine Menendez with a new car, a Mercedes, in exchange for the senator’s help trying to throttle a criminal investigation. Josh Margolin, ABC News, 6 Oct. 2023
Noun
The floor-hinging pedals don’t travel quite as far as a 964 when new, allowing for more precise modulation of the clutch, brake, and throttle while up and downshifting. Michael Van Runkle, Robb Report, 21 Feb. 2024 Jason, 36, who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles, went full throttle for his look, wearing Chiefs overalls, while his wife, Kylie, 31, was more subtle. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 11 Feb. 2024 Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta seems to be pacing this season better, setting up his team to control games more and not go full throttle like in the first half of the last campaign. Steve Douglas, USA TODAY, 6 Feb. 2024 For anyone who doesn’t want to go full throttle with bronze, an apricot-toned shimmer is a subtle way of adding color to the face. Georgia Day, Glamour, 22 Nov. 2023 Instead of adding more throttle to accelerate, the pedal's position equates to a specific speed. Tim Stevens, Ars Technica, 12 Jan. 2024 At slow speed, you’re reminded of the bike’s 507-pound weight, but when given ample throttle, the Commando is easy to throw into corners, with its impressive torque propelling you just as effortlessly out of them. Charlie Thomas, Robb Report, 12 Jan. 2024 The original was in Naples, revolutionizing the city’s dusty hotel scene with its full throttle, flashy luxury. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, 5 Jan. 2024 Pelican Bikes The bike and the trailers keep tabs on each other via a proprietary communications system that coordinates their throttle and braking action. IEEE Spectrum, 22 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'throttle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English throtelen, from throte throat

Noun

perhaps from Middle English *throtel, diminutive of throte throat

First Known Use

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a(1)

Noun

circa 1547, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Time Traveler
The first known use of throttle was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near throttle

Cite this Entry

“Throttle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/throttle. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

throttle

1 of 2 verb
throt·​tle ˈthrät-ᵊl How to pronounce throttle (audio)
throttled; throttling ˈthrät-liŋ How to pronounce throttle (audio)
-ᵊl-iŋ
1
: to slow or stop the breathing of : choke, strangle
2
: to reduce the speed of (an engine) by closing the throttle
throttler
-lər How to pronounce throttle (audio)
-ᵊl-ər
noun

throttle

2 of 2 noun
1
: a valve controlling the flow of steam or fuel to an engine
2
: a lever controlling a throttle

More from Merriam-Webster on throttle

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