Definition of throttle in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈθrɒt(ə)l/


1A device controlling the flow of fuel or power to an engine: the engines were at full throttle
More example sentences
  • There's only a throttle lever for power control - push forward to go, pull back to stop.
  • The engine's electronic throttle control is designed to increase manifold pressure to maintain engine torque.
  • On the right, the engine throttle controlling nearly 7,000 pounds of thrust was no help to the now severely tail-heavy tumbling mass of metal.
2 archaic A person’s throat, gullet, or windpipe.
Example sentences
  • The neck of each bottle she thrusts down her throttle.
  • He used to carry home to me..from his anatomy class..the throttles of all kinds of animals.


[with object]
1Attack or kill (someone) by choking or strangling them: she was sorely tempted to throttle him figurative international sanctions were then throttling the country’s economy
More example sentences
  • Avoid thinking aloud lest others are tempted to throttle you.
  • Feel free to throttle him. go for it. we'll all be rooting for you - he's such a… guy.
  • The man may not be the crazed attacker who throttled the young lawyer and tried to force her into the boot of her car last Thursday, but he was in the Leeds car park when the terrifying incident took place.
choke, strangle, strangulate, garrotte, asphyxiate, smother, suffocate, stifle
suppress, inhibit, stifle, control, restrain, check, contain, put a/the lid on;
crack down on, clamp down on, drive underground;
stop, put an end to, bring to an end, end, stamp out, bring to a stop, halt, bring to a halt
informal put paid to, put the kibosh on, put the stopper on, do for
2Control (an engine or vehicle) with a throttle: it has two engines that can be throttled
More example sentences
  • The pilot wiped out his flight controls, throttled the engines to military thrust, and quickly checked the instruments.
  • He throttled the engine as he pulled the car away from the curb.
  • Monty throttled the engines back as they passed the sentinel points of a reef.
2.1 [no object] (throttle back or down) Reduce the power of an engine or vehicle by use of the throttle: the pitch of the engine fell as the driver throttled back
More example sentences
  • I always find it unnerving to throttle back large piston aero engines to idle in flight, and the Kestrel was no exception.
  • After liftoff, at nearly 100 percent of rated thrust, the engine throttles back momentarily.
  • After reaching the usual 8000-ft cruising altitude, the engines were throttled back to create a moderate cabin noise level.



Example sentences
  • These Congressmen are willing to be named, it seems, as throttlers of legislation that would have made impossible a repetition of the horrors of the Triangle Waist factory fire.
  • Other than job stress, most men say that nagging is the only sure throttler of desire.
  • Alfalfa's enormous yields, high protein content, economy as a crop, and value as a soil builder and weed throttler is almost without parallel in plant history.


Late Middle English (as a verb): perhaps a frequentative, from throat; the noun (dating from the mid 16th century in sense 2) is perhaps a diminutive of throat, but the history of the word is not clear.

  • Throttle, to stop someone breathing by squeezing their throat is a development of Old English throat. As a mid 16th-century noun it was at first an alternative word for throat. Use of the word to refer to a valve controlling the flow of fuel dates from the early 19th century.

Words that rhyme with throttle

axolotl, bottle, dottle, glottal, mottle, pottle, wattle

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: throt¦tle

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.