There are 2 main definitions of stifle in English:

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stifle1

Line breaks: stifle
Pronunciation: /ˈstʌɪf(ə)l
 
/

verb

[with object]
1Make (someone) unable to breathe properly; suffocate: those in the streets were stifled by the fumes
More example sentences
  • The ground gave way as the plants pulled him down, knocking the wind out of his chest, and stealing the air he could have breathed by stifling him with their multitude.
  • When the Indians set fire to the main building as well as the sheds, the flames fanned into a sunburst, and their smoke stifled the people of Fort Mims.
  • Last night I went out and two ladies who were sitting at my table were stifling me with their perfume.
Synonyms
2Restrain (a reaction) or stop oneself acting on (an emotion): she stifled a giggle
More example sentences
  • He stifled his immediate reaction, although he couldn't keep from tightening his jaw.
  • He almost choked on his meat but managed to stifle his sudden reaction to her statement with a hastily gulp of water.
  • He began to speak, but had to stop again to stifle a giggle.
Synonyms
suppress, smother, restrain, keep back, hold back, hold in, fight back, choke back, gulp back, withhold, check, keep in check, swallow, muffle, quench, curb, silence, contain, bottle up;
2.1Prevent or constrain (an activity or idea): high taxes were stifling private enterprise
More example sentences
  • A county judge dismissed that case last April under a California law aimed at discouraging lawsuits that stifle constitutionally-protected activities.
  • Taxes stifle enterprise only if they increase with enterprise.
  • The malfunction of enterprises stifled the growth of innovative designers.
Synonyms
constrain, hinder, hamper, impede, hold back, curb, check, restrain, prevent, inhibit;
put an end/stop to, stop, quash, squash, stamp out, destroy, crush, extinguish, deaden, damp down, subdue, suppress, repress;

Origin

late Middle English: perhaps from a frequentative of Old French estouffer 'smother, stifle'.

More
  • stew from (Middle English):

    When stew entered the language it referred to a cauldron or large cooking pot, not to what was being cooked in it. The source was Old French estuve, probably based on Greek tuphos ‘smoke or steam’, which is also where the fevers typhus (late 18th century) and typhoid (early 19th century) come from, because they create the kind of stupor that is associated with smoke inhalation. The verb ‘to stew’ originally referred to bathing in a hot bath or steam bath. It was not long before the idea of heating people in a bath had changed to heating food in an oven, specifically cooking a dish of meat and vegetables by simmering it slowly in a closed vessel. Stifle (Late Middle English) probably comes from the same Old French root, and stove (Middle English), originally a ‘sweating room’ in a steam bath, may be related. See also seethe

Derivatives

stifler

1
noun
Example sentences
  • These stiflers of academic success stem from personal experiences related to learning tasks.
  • Perhaps these stiflers of free press have had some profound conversion or just found it expedient for purposes of re-election.

Words that rhyme with stifle

Eiffel, rifle, trifle

Definition of stifle in:

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There are 2 main definitions of stifle in English:

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stifle2

Line breaks: stifle
Pronunciation: /ˈstʌɪf(ə)l
 
/
(also stifle joint)

noun

A joint in the legs of horses, dogs, and other animals, equivalent to the knee in humans.
Example sentences
  • At necropsy all stifle joints were stable to an anterior drawer force with no significant limitations in passive range of motion.
  • Alas, Tamarillo went down late last night with a knock to the stifle joint incurred over the cross-county and was withdrawn.
  • It primarily occurs in the shoulder or elbow joints, but it can affect the hocks or stifles, too.

Origin

Middle English: of unknown origin.

More
  • stew from (Middle English):

    When stew entered the language it referred to a cauldron or large cooking pot, not to what was being cooked in it. The source was Old French estuve, probably based on Greek tuphos ‘smoke or steam’, which is also where the fevers typhus (late 18th century) and typhoid (early 19th century) come from, because they create the kind of stupor that is associated with smoke inhalation. The verb ‘to stew’ originally referred to bathing in a hot bath or steam bath. It was not long before the idea of heating people in a bath had changed to heating food in an oven, specifically cooking a dish of meat and vegetables by simmering it slowly in a closed vessel. Stifle (Late Middle English) probably comes from the same Old French root, and stove (Middle English), originally a ‘sweating room’ in a steam bath, may be related. See also seethe

Definition of stifle in:

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