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Definition of "suffocate" [suf•fo•cate]

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

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "suffocate" in a sentence
  • "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."
  • "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."
  • "He said he won't allow the strikes to "suffocate" the economy."