Definition of asphyxiate in English:



  • 1 Kill (someone) by depriving them of air:

    ‘they were asphyxiated by the carbon monoxide fumes’
    • ‘Apparently the thick, nonporous tape kills the wart by asphyxiating it or something.’
    • ‘Thin air is un-nourishing and asphyxiating; it is also what people and things disappear into.’
    • ‘Poorly trained correctional officers have accidentally asphyxiated mentally ill prisoners whom they were trying to restrain.’
    • ‘For a while, all this democracy seemed to be asphyxiating democracy.’
    • ‘The rot spreads, mould covering the sheen of life, dragging it down with cloying, asphyxiating stealth.’
    • ‘Soldiers were deployed to stop these protesters - shooting into crowds, wounding many, and spraying teargas from helicopters, asphyxiating at least one child.’
    • ‘The abject tyranny of political correctness murderously asphyxiates us with sugary pleasantries and tedious nomenclature.’
    • ‘Unlike carbon dioxide systems, which will asphyxiate humans, these materials also are safe for occupants should they be unable to escape before the system discharges.’
    • ‘The effect asphyxiated almost all the fish and corals in the reefs fringing a 400-kilometer-long stretch of the Mentawai Islands.’
    • ‘We all know someone who's very closeness can almost asphyxiate us right?’
    • ‘In their incompetent hands, data protection has become an asphyxiating blanket of political correctness, rather than a sword and shield to protect the interests of law-abiding citizens.’
    • ‘The kids and I enjoyed having her company, apart from the fact that she just about asphyxiated us all each morning with the amount of hair spray she was using.’
    • ‘Steam rose from all directions, billowing into swirls, each a threatening tentacle ready to choke, suffocate, asphyxiate me.’
    • ‘It appears that some of these had rotted and produced a lethal gas which asphyxiated the crew members.’
    • ‘Trappers kill the cowbirds by asphyxiating them with automobile exhaust or by breaking their necks.’
    • ‘It came from all sides, asphyxiating him, robbing him of the peace of mind he so desperately craved.’
    • ‘Employing poison weapons or asphyxiating gases is classed by the tribunal as a war crime.’
    • ‘In fact, all the characters in the film feel so strongly about the agony of ordinary existence, and find their lives so asphyxiating, that escape, in whatever form it takes, becomes their oxygen.’
    • ‘Gas masks protected soldiers against asphyxiating agents, but no adequate protection had yet been found against mustard gas, which attacked the skin.’
    • ‘Helen gave her a hug that temporarily asphyxiated her friend.’
    suffocate, smother, stifle
    throttle, strangle, strangulate, constrict
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[no object] Die by being deprived of air:
      ‘they slowly asphyxiated’
      • ‘Infants and small children can become wedged in gaps and asphyxiate.’
      • ‘Or maybe it's all that smog and all these celebrities are asphyxiating.’
      • ‘You have to be real careful that she doesn't asphyxiate or have difficulty with aspiration.’
      • ‘Even if the burning of fossil fuel has so poisoned my city's air that I must leave immediately or asphyxiate, most people would permit me to escape by car.’
      • ‘One member of the train crew was killed, and two nearby residents asphyxiated from breathing the gas.’
      • ‘Steve was a good friend I lost last year; he asphyxiated and/or drowned at Soda Springs up in Napa.’
      • ‘Pupils would often fall out of their chairs and asphyxiate with laughter.’
      • ‘You would asphyxiate from the lack of oxygen in the atmosphere.’
      • ‘She suffered severe brain damage after asphyxiating during birth but that would have been avoided had she been born earlier by emergency Caesarean section, a hearing in Preston was told.’
      • ‘If you asphyxiate and die, she'll only be happier.’
      • ‘They were over land, at least, so they wouldn't asphyxiate underwater.’
      • ‘Interestingly enough, both writers are suicides - Hemingway shot himself and Plath asphyxiated in a gas oven.’
      • ‘I think if there were any more people I would have asphyxiated.’
      • ‘I half-expect to asphyxiate, because with so many gasping at once, one would think all the oxygen would leave the air.’
      • ‘Tragedies involving dozens of people asphyxiated to death while packed in an ill-ventilated truck or vessel have so far not deterred them from risking their lives in seeking better lives.’
      • ‘But don't come complaining back to me when you start to asphyxiate.’
      • ‘They don't seem to notice the sun beating down or the fact that most people look as if they are asphyxiating.’
      • ‘Although she can't possibly have any idea what she just said or why it amuses me so, and though her timing was nothing like the movie, I find it so funny that I nearly asphyxiate.’
      • ‘Suddenly, he was floating in space, miraculously not asphyxiating from lack of oxygen.’
      • ‘Her children's allergy to the sun means they must live in near darkness: anything stronger than candlelight will cause the kids to break out in boils and then asphyxiate.’