as·​phyx·​i·​ation | \ as-ˌfik-sē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce asphyxiation (audio) , əs- \

Definition of asphyxiation

: deprivation of oxygen that can result in unconsciousness and often death : an act of asphyxiating a person or animal or a state of asphyxia : suffocation The autopsy showed that the cause of death was asphyxiation. Pliny the Elder did not die of falling pumice, but of asphyxiation, as he breathed noxious fumes from the eruption.— Sidney Perkowitz Asphyxiation at birth caused permanent impairment of his nerve-signaling system …— Ann Geracimos In rats, mice, and rabbits ciguatera poison causes death by asphyxiation.— Kwang-ming Li

Examples of asphyxiation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner’s office ruled the death a homicide caused by asphyxiation. Christian Martinezstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2022 An autopsy determined Roselli died of asphyxiation. Bill Hutchinson, ABC News, 10 May 2022 Garrett Wilson, a project manager with Missoula Concrete Construction, which builds such toilets, told me that the woman was probably not in serious danger of asphyxiation. Frederick Dreier, Outside Online, 28 Apr. 2022 Acosta’s family alleged that Acosta died from asphyxiation after he was pushed forward by a rowdy crowd who charged the stage. Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2021 Then-Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris has said an autopsy showed her cause of death was asphyxiation due to drowning. Meredith Colias-pete,, 19 Jan. 2022 While authorities are awaiting an autopsy report, Taylor said investigators believe Kamarie's cause of death was asphyxiation. Harriet Sokmensuer,, 15 Dec. 2021 The affidavit released Tuesday indicates staff found Freeman on top of the woman with a pillow over her face, and an autopsy revealed the woman died from asphyxiation due to smothering. Lawrence Andrea, The Indianapolis Star, 9 Feb. 2022 Five Georgia officers have been indicted on murder charges in the asphyxiation death of a festivalgoer near Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2019, prosecutors said Friday. NBC News, 20 Nov. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'asphyxiation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of asphyxiation

1829, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of asphyxiation was in 1829

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Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Asphyxiation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on asphyxiation

Nglish: Translation of asphyxiation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of asphyxiation for Arabic Speakers


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