- To stifle is to stop someone from breathing or suppress actions by yourself or others.
When you tell someone that all of his ideas are stupid, this is an example of a situation where you stifle his creativity.
- to kill by cutting off the supply of air from; suffocate; smother; choke
- to suppress or repress; hold back; check, stop, inhibit, etc.: to stifle a sob, to stifle protests
Origin: altered (prob. influenced, influence by Old Norse stīfla, to stop up: for Indo-European base see stiff) from Middle English stuflen, frequentative formation from Middle French estouffer, to smother from Vulgar Latin an unverified form stuppare, to stuff up (see stop), influenced, influence by an unverified form extufare, to quench, smother, steam, stew
- to die from lack of air
- to suffer from lack of fresh, cool air
- stifler noun
Origin: Middle English
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
verb sti·fled, sti·fling, sti·fles verb, transitive
- To interrupt or cut off (the voice, for example).
- To keep in or hold back; repress: stifled my indignation.
- To kill by preventing respiration; smother or suffocate.
- To feel smothered or suffocated by or as if by close confinement in a stuffy room.
- To die of suffocation.
Origin: Middle English stifilen, alteration (influenced by Old Norse stīfla, to stop up) of stuffen, stuflen, to stifle, choke, drown, from Old French estoufer, of Germanic origin.
- stiˈfler noun
Origin: Middle English, possibly from Old French estivel, pipe, leg, tibia, from Latin stīpes, stick.