stran·​gle | \ ˈstraŋ-gəl How to pronounce strangle (audio) \
strangled; strangling\ ˈstraŋ-​g(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce strangle (audio) \

Definition of strangle

transitive verb

1a : to choke to death by compressing the throat with something (such as a hand or rope) : throttle
b : to obstruct seriously or fatally the normal breathing of
c : stifle
2 : to suppress or hinder the rise, expression, or growth of repression strangles free speech

intransitive verb

1 : to become strangled
2 : to die from or as if from interference with breathing

Other Words from strangle

strangler \ ˈstraŋ-​g(ə-​)lər How to pronounce strangle (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for strangle


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Examples of strangle in a Sentence

The weeds are strangling the plant. The company is trying to strangle the smaller competition.
Recent Examples on the Web Research shows that abusers who attempt to strangle their partners are much more likely to kill them in a subsequent assault. Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje, San Antonio Express-News, 15 Nov. 2021 Arguably, regulators thus far have been integral to the rise of digital assets by taking the time to understand the technology and not implement mandates that strangle the new industry. Rayne Steinberg, Forbes, 8 Nov. 2021 The cost of credit debt will further strangle your spending, taking up a larger and larger portion of your budget. David Rae, Forbes, 17 Oct. 2021 The President also kindled the hopes of liberals by suggesting an openness in the future to amending the Senate filibuster rule, which Republicans use to strangle the most sweeping Democratic reform measures. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 22 Oct. 2021 The campaign to kill the provision is led by a familiar figure, Mr. Norquist, whose network of conservative activists has worked to cut taxes and strangle the I.R.S. for decades. New York Times, 13 July 2021 Peoria police have arrested a man suspected of attempting to strangle his mother-in-law to death Friday night, according to court documents. Perry Vandell, The Arizona Republic, 12 Oct. 2021 The Mahes filed suit in 2018, claiming that the blinds were faulty in that the manufacturers failed to install a safety mechanism to ensure the cords couldn’t strangle a child. Kolbie Peterson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Sep. 2021 Kahlo's loose hair, usually tightly braided, appears to almost strangle her. CNN, 22 Sep. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for strangle

Middle English, from Anglo-French estrangler, from Latin strangulare, from Greek strangalan, from strangalē halter — more at strain

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Time Traveler for strangle

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The first known use of strangle was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

23 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Strangle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for strangle



English Language Learners Definition of strangle

: to kill (a person or animal) by squeezing the throat
: to stop (something) from growing or developing


stran·​gle | \ ˈstraŋ-gəl How to pronounce strangle (audio) \
strangled; strangling

Kids Definition of strangle

1 : to choke to death by squeezing the throat
2 : to die or suffer from or as if from being choked

Other Words from strangle

strangler \ -​glər \ noun


stran·​gle | \ ˈstraŋ-gəl How to pronounce strangle (audio) \
strangled; strangling\ -​g(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce strangle (audio) \

Medical Definition of strangle

transitive verb

1 : to choke to death by compressing the throat with something (as a hand or rope)
2 : to obstruct seriously or fatally the normal breathing of the bone wedged in his throat and strangled him

intransitive verb

1 : to become strangled : undergo a severe interference with breathing
2 : to die from interference with breathing

More from Merriam-Webster on strangle

Nglish: Translation of strangle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of strangle for Arabic Speakers


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