Definition of strangle in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈstraŋɡ(ə)l/


[with object]
1Squeeze or constrict the neck of (a person or animal), especially so as to cause death: the victim was strangled with a scarf
More example sentences
  • It took all my will power to keep myself from strangling that person to death.
  • Sometimes, I felt like strangling him to death.
  • Then, in some unexplained way, the sprocket chain tore loose and managed to wrap itself about the boy's neck, strangling him.
throttle, choke, garrotte;
asphyxiate, stifle
informal strangulate
1.1 (as adjective strangled) Sounding as though the utterer’s throat is constricted: a series of strangled gasps
More example sentences
  • Althia broke off, emitting a strangled noise in her throat and burying her face in Briar's shoulder.
  • A strangled scream escaped my throat as the great white shark ripped the protective cage to pieces, as if it was made of matchwood…
  • But the silence of the night gave way to strangled sobs in my throat.
1.2Suppress (an impulse, action, or sound): she strangled a sob
More example sentences
  • The Spearman fought his bitter, convulsive coughs, strangling his sounds against a white-knuckled fist, and Zarantha held his wasted body in her arms.
  • I should be happy, but I'm so overwhelmed by shame, confusion and fear that they are strangling the feelings of love I have for him.
  • In the end, the struggle against the central powers exhausted and strangled the impulse to freedom associated with growing equality, and the middle classes succumbed to being administered.
suppress, smother, stifle, repress, restrain, hold back, hold in, fight back, bite back, gulp back, swallow, choke back, check
1.3Hamper or hinder the development or activity of: they allowed bureaucracy to strangle initiative
More example sentences
  • His family acquired wealth beyond their wildest dreams and a measure of power that still strangles the development of democracy in Chile.
  • Business is telling us that an assembly would strangle growth.
  • I have firm proposals to reduce the bureaucracy which is strangling farming.
hamper, hinder, impede, restrict, interfere with, inhibit, hold back, curb, check, restrain, constrain;
prevent, put an end/stop to, stop, quash, squash, stamp out, destroy, crush, extinguish, deaden, damp down, subdue, suppress, repress;
silence, muffle, mute, gag



Pronunciation: /ˈstraŋɡ(ə)lə/
Example sentences
  • He seemed unusually gentle for a strangler - soft-spoken and quite contrite.
  • Many stranglers on the sides fell to carefully placed shafts.
  • While Kas's hands were busy trying to pry the stranglers off his neck, his legs swung free.


Middle English: shortening of Old French estrangler, from Latin strangulare, from Greek strangalan, from strangalē 'halter', related to strangos 'twisted'.

Words that rhyme with strangle

angle, bangle, bespangle, dangle, entangle, fandangle, jangle, mangel, mangle, spangle, tangle, wangle, wide-angle, wrangle

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: stran¦gle

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.