Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To choke up; dam up; close.
  • To kill by impeding respiration, as by covering the mouth and nose, by introducing an irrespirable substance into the lungs, or by other means; suffocate or greatly oppress by foul air or otherwise; smother.
  • To stop the passage of; arrest the free action of; extinguish; deaden; quench: as, to stifle flame; to stifle sound.
  • To suppress; keep from active manifestation; keep from public notice; conceal; repress; destroy: as, to stifle inquiry; to stifle a report; to stifle passion; to stifle convictions.
  • Synonyms Suffocate, Strangle, etc. See smother.
  • To husn, muffle, muzzle, gag.
  • To suffocate; perish by asphyxia.
  • noun The stifle-joint.
  • noun Disease or other affection of the stifle-bone or stifle-joint, as dislocation or fracture of the patella.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Far.) The joint next above the hock, and near the flank, in the hind leg of the horse and allied animals; the joint corresponding to the knee in man; -- called also stifle joint. See Illust. under horse.
  • noun a small bone at the stifle joint; the patella, or kneepan.
  • transitive verb To stop the breath of by crowding something into the windpipe, or introducing an irrespirable substance into the lungs; to choke; to suffocate; to cause the death of by such means.
  • transitive verb To stop; to extinguish; to deaden; to quench.
  • transitive verb To suppress the manifestation or report of; to smother; to conceal from public knowledge.
  • intransitive verb To die by reason of obstruction of the breath, or because some noxious substance prevents respiration.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A hind knee of various mammals, especially horses.
  • noun veterinary medicine A bone disease of this region.
  • verb transitive To interrupt or cut off.
  • verb transitive To repress, keep in or hold back.
  • verb transitive To smother or suffocate.
  • verb intransitive To feel smothered etc.
  • verb intransitive To die of suffocation.
  • verb transitive To treat a silkworm cocoon with steam as part of the process of silk production.

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

  • verb impair the respiration of or obstruct the air passage of
  • noun joint between the femur and tibia in a quadruped; corresponds to the human knee
  • verb conceal or hide
  • verb smother or suppress
  • verb be asphyxiated; die from lack of oxygen

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English stiflen, from Old Norse stífla ("to dam, choke, stop up"), from stífla ("dam"), from Proto-Germanic *stīfilaz, *stīfilan (“prop, pole, support”), from Proto-Indo-European *steip-, *steib- (“stake, picket”). Cognate with Icelandic stífla ("to dam up, jam, block"), Norwegian stivla ("to dam up, choke, stop"), Low German stipel ("support wood"), Eastern Frisian stīpe ("stake, support").

Examples

  • This boar's savage charge at the camel was within a few yards of all of us, for every one was trying to entice him to come forth; after his headlong rush out of the bush he reared so upright in his attempt to reach his clumsy disturber, which was quite frantic from deadly fear, that he succeeded in ripping it in what in a horse would be termed the stifle joint.

    Natural History of the Mammalia of India and Ceylon

  • And, horses can rest standing up, by locking their knee called a stifle joint in place, which explains why cowboys in the many Westerns movies we've watched are lounging at the campfire when their horses are up and willing to go.

    undefined

  • Follow the lead of the private industry which you so easily stifle and as Archie told Edith "stifle" i.e. stifle yourself and leave the private sector alone.

    Urge the City of Aurora, Kane County and the State of Illinois to Unplug the Fiscally Irresponsible Funding Concept of Video Poker and Gambling | Commentary By Lady Gaga and Chris Daughtry

  • Likewise, for many of Clinton's supporters, it's been seen as a call to sit down and shut up or "stifle" as Archie Bunker used to say to Edith.

    Hullabaloo

  • Moosa told journalists he believed the new policy, once implemented, would "stifle" the crime syndicates behind the poaching.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • DA Justice spokesman Dr Tertius Delport on Monday described this as an attempt by Justice Minister Penuell Maduna to "stifle" DA leader Tony Leon, saying it had no basis in law,

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • The only innovation a new consumer protection agency will "stifle" is deceptive and predatory practices that should be stifled, Blumenthal said.

    Articles » peoplesworld

  • The only innovation a new consumer protection agency will "stifle" is deceptive and predatory practices that should be stifled, Blumenthal said.

    Articles » peoplesworld

  • If the turnover rate is too low at slow growth firms (below 4\%) it can "stifle" internal movement, frustrate your employees (which may lead to future turnover) and slow up individual talent development.

    ERE.net

  • Upton said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's proposed new regulations would "stifle" investment.

    B&C - Advertising News

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Stifle your curiosity

    November 20, 2007

  • Citation (in the sense of part of a horse's leg) on withers.

    July 4, 2008

  • "He made an effort to stifle his anxiety, and turned his attention back to his hands."

    Lord Foul's Bane, Chapter Five

    July 29, 2012