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

Definition of throttle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a(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
2a : 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

intransitive verb

: to throttle something (something, such as an engine) usually used with back or downthe pilot throttled back



Definition of throttle (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : 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
at full throttle
: at full speed the project is proceeding at full throttle

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Other Words from throttle


throttler \ ˈthrät-​lər How to pronounce throttler (audio) , ˈthrä-​tᵊl-​ər \ noun

Synonyms for throttle

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of throttle in a Sentence

Verb He throttled her in a fit of jealous rage. I'm so mad I could throttle her! Noun When you press a car's accelerator, it opens the throttle, and the car goes faster.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Companies operating in Britain have bemoaned the lack of clarity over the impact of Brexit, warning that unanswered questions about everything from trade policy to immigration laws are throttling hiring and investment decisions. Washington Post, "Baffled By Brexit? How to Follow the Latest Twists," 9 Sep. 2019 But the Adrian Darya 1’s release shows that even Mr Johnson is unwilling to break with Europe and join Mr Trump in throttling Iran. The Economist, "What Britain’s release of an Iranian tanker says about its post-Brexit foreign policy," 22 Aug. 2019 But throttling is a blunt way to limit video quality. Klint Finley, WIRED, "Think Video on Your Phone Is Slow? It’s Not Your Imagination," 20 Aug. 2019 The car has no instrumentation, and only spark and throttle levers on the four-spoke wooden steering wheel. Vern Parker, Houston Chronicle, "1911 Chase a symbol of family history," 16 Aug. 2019 The administration has throttled a program that encouraged entrepreneurs to come to the U.S. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "The Pretzel Logic of Trump’s Immigration Policy," 14 Aug. 2019 Existing growers said their expansions also reflect an easing of the regulatory hiccups, legal challenges and political controversies that threatened to throttle the industry in its early days. Erin Cox,, "Why Maryland’s medical pot growers are adding more plants," 16 Sep. 2019 Remember, Avon throttled Brownsburg 38-0 last November in the sectional. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Week 4 Indiana high school football predictions: Brownsburg-Avon, Cathedral-Chatard and more," 11 Sep. 2019 Existing growers said their expansions also reflect an easing of the regulatory hiccups, legal challenges and political controversies that threatened to throttle the industry in its early days. al, "Maryland’s medical cannabis industry expands amid talk of legalization," 8 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As soon as the rocket plane was clear of the B-52, the pilot would grab the throttle as quickly as possible to open the propellant lines. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "What it was like to fly the baddest airplane the world has ever known," 16 Sep. 2019 Located in the heart of Frontierland, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad opened 40 years ago with no engineer at the throttle of the runaway mine trains. Advertorial, Orange County Register, "History & Heritage: Tipping Our Hat to the Wildest Ride in the Wilderness," 15 Sep. 2019 The new control system distributes torque to the front and rear axles in such a way to make the rear-biased system easier to control with deft working of the throttle. Wired, "With the Taycan, Porsche Launches into the Electric Future," 4 Sep. 2019 Just bang it down a gear or two and twist the throttle. Joe Michaud, San Diego Union-Tribune, "2019 KTM 790 Duke: a lightweight, midsize rocket of a bike," 25 Aug. 2019 The findings, which were released today, offer an inside glimpse into Madigan’s intensely secretive political operation that controls the throttle on which legislation lives and dies in Springfield. Lisa Donovan,, "The Spin: Unflattering report doesn’t just highlight bullying, sexual harassment in House Speaker Mike Madigan’s offices. It’s a window into normally highly secretive operations.," 20 Aug. 2019 For a first ride, users are given a brief operating tutorial on the app that covers the basics like how to start and accelerate (watch out for the sensitive throttle) and requirements, like wearing a helmet (two are included in the moped’s trunk). Aaron Randle, New York Times, "Now Crowding New York’s Streets: Rented Mopeds Going 30 M.P.H.," 9 Aug. 2019 Snowmobilers can punch the throttle to power out of harm's way. National Geographic, "Avalanches, explained," 19 July 2019 The loud noise occurred as Palyok, a T-38C instructor pilot with 376 hours in the jet, including 4.6 hours at night, adjusted the throttles for takeoff during his fifth practice touch-and-go landing. Sig Christenson,, "After a loud buzzing, T-38 crew in Del Rio had seconds to act," 17 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'throttle.' 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 throttle


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


circa 1547, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for throttle


Middle English throtelen, from throte throat


perhaps from Middle English *throtel, diminutive of throte throat

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Time Traveler for throttle

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for throttle

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Throttle.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for throttle


How to pronounce throttle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of throttle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to choke or strangle (someone)
US, informal : to defeat (someone or something) easily or completely
: to not allow (something) to grow or develop



English Language Learners Definition of throttle (Entry 2 of 2)

technical : a device that controls the flow of fuel to an engine


throt·​tle | \ ˈthrä-tᵊl How to pronounce throttle (audio) \
throttled; throttling

Kids Definition of throttle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to strangle or choke (someone)
2 : to reduce the speed of (an engine) by closing the throttle valve



Kids Definition of throttle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a valve or a lever that controls the valve for regulating the flow of steam or fuel in an engine

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