Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To kill or destroy by preventing access of air or oxygen.
  • transitive v. To impair the respiration of; asphyxiate.
  • transitive v. To cause discomfort to by or as if by cutting off the supply of fresh air.
  • transitive v. To suppress the development, imagination, or creativity of; stifle: "The rigid formality of the place suffocated her” ( Thackeray).
  • intransitive v. To die from lack of air or oxygen; be asphyxiated.
  • intransitive v. To feel discomfort from lack of fresh air.
  • intransitive v. To become or feel suppressed; be stifled.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To suffer, or cause someone to suffer, from severely reduced oxygen intake to the body.
  • v. To die due to, or kill someone by means of, insufficient oxygen supply to the body.
  • v. To overwhelm, or be overwhelmed (by a person or issue), as though with oxygen deprivation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Suffocated; choked.
  • intransitive v. To become choked, stifled, or smothered.
  • transitive v. To choke or kill by stopping respiration; to stifle; to smother.
  • transitive v. To destroy; to extinguish.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To kill by preventing the access of air to the blood through the lungs or analogous organs, as gills.
  • To impede respiration in; compress so as to prevent respiration.
  • To stifle; smother; extinguish: as, to suffocate fire or live coals.
  • Synonyms Stifle, Strangle, etc. See smother.
  • To become choked, stifled, or smothered: as, we are suffocating in this close room.
  • Suffocated; choked.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. struggle for breath; have insufficient oxygen intake
  • v. deprive of oxygen and prevent from breathing
  • v. suppress the development, creativity, or imagination of
  • v. impair the respiration of or obstruct the air passage of
  • v. be asphyxiated; die from lack of oxygen
  • v. feel uncomfortable for lack of fresh air
  • v. become stultified, suppressed, or stifled

Etymologies

Latin suffōcāre, suffōcāt- : sub-, sub- + faucēs, throat.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin suffocatus, past participle of suffocare ("to choke, stifle"), from sub ("under") + faux ("the upper part of the throat, the pharynx"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Since we learned last week that Gia had the maid bottle feed her baby at night so the little vampire won't "suffocate" her for milk.

    Vh1 Blog

  • In an interview, Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman explains why his country is not ready to negotiate over the status of Jerusalem, why he believes peace cannot be imposed in the Middle East and how tougher Western sanctions could be enough to "suffocate" the Iranian nuclear program.

    Politics

  • He said he won't allow the strikes to "suffocate" the economy.

    BusinessWeek.com -- Top News

  • Basically the rat will be full of glue and either suffocate which is a horrible death!

    Yahoo! Answers: Latest Questions

  • The Tories and the LibDems said fears that ministers were attempting to 'suffocate' the inquiry were being borne out.

    Home | Mail Online

  • The net effect of this discovery is two-fold: first the blind mole rat can serve a "living tumor" in cancer research; and-perhaps more important-that unique gene in the blind mole rat becomes a prime target for new anti-cancer drugs that can "suffocate" tumors.

    Medindia Health News

  • Which liens will "suffocate" the short sale process

    Feed of Eventbrite Events

  • Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg ambushed the Prime Minister in the Commons, angrily accusing him of trying to 'suffocate' the Chilcot Inquiry.

    Niles's Blog

  • Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, accused Gordon Brown of trying to "suffocate" the inquiry by giving Whitehall a veto on what could be in Sir John Chilcot's report.

    Signs of the Times

  • Gordon Brown was accused of attempting to "suffocate" the Iraq inquiry by imposing restrictions on what information could be released in Sir John Chilcot's final report.

    Politics news, UK and world political comment and analysis | guardian.co.uk

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  • Donald Duck and Daisy Duck were spending the night together in a hotel room and Donald wanted to have sex with Daisy.

    The first thing Daisy asked was, 'Do you have a condom?'

    Donald frowned and said, 'No.'

    Daisy told Donald that if he didn't get a condom, they could not have sex.

    'Maybe they sell them at the front desk,' she suggested.
    So Donald went down to the lobby and asked the hotel clerk if they had condoms.

    'Yes, we do,' the clerk said and pulled a box out from under the counter and gave it to Donald.

    The clerk asked, 'Would you like me to put them on your bill?

    'No!' Donald quacked, I'll thuffocate'.

    August 4, 2009