- 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.
stifle definition by Webster's New World
- 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
stifle definition by American Heritage Dictionary
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.