- 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.
transitive verbstifled, stifling
- 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 of stiflealtered (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
Origin of stifleMiddle English
transitive verbsti·fled, sti·fling, sti·fles
- 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.
Origin of stifleMiddle 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.
Origin of stifleMiddle English, possibly from Old French estivel, pipe, leg, tibia, from Latin stīpes, stick.
(third-person singular simple present stifles, present participle stifling, simple past and past participle stifled)
- To interrupt or cut off.
- To repress, keep in or hold back.
- The army stifled the rebellion.
- To smother or suffocate.
- The heat was stifling the children.
- (intransitive) To feel smothered etc.
- The heat felt stifling.
- (intransitive) To die of suffocation.
- Two firemen tragically stifled in yesterday's fire when trying to rescue an old lady from her bedroom.
- To treat a silkworm cocoon with steam as part of the process of silk production.
From Middle English stiflen, from Old Norse stÃfla (“to dam, choke, stop up"), from stÃfla (“dam"), from Proto-Germanic *stÄ«filaz, *stÄ«filÄ… (“prop, pole, support"), from Proto-Indo-European *steip-, *steib- (“stake, picket"). Cognate with Icelandic stÃfla (“to dam up, jam, block"), Norwegian stivla (“to dam up, choke, stop"), Low German stipel (“support wood"), Eastern Frisian stÄ«pe (“stake, support").