Definition of throttle in English:



  • 1A device controlling the flow of fuel or power to an engine:

    ‘the engines were at full throttle’
    • ‘Each throttle and mixture control lever on the flight engineer's control stand was connected by cables to a pulley on the forward face of the firewall.’
    • ‘I pushed the throttle forward and Moonlight lifted off the ground slowly.’
    • ‘As he issued the words his hand came down and pushed the throttle lever forward.’
    • ‘The fun starts in a Viking the instant you push the throttle full forward for takeoff.’
    • ‘Massive fuel spilled into the engines while at full throttle.’
    • ‘At takeoff power when the throttle is wide open, the RPM and fuel flow are at a maximum.’
    • ‘The very instant you tap the throttle, the engine bursts into action and flings you forward like someone has hit the hyperspace button.’
    • ‘On the right, the engine throttle controlling nearly 7,000 pounds of thrust was no help to the now severely tail-heavy tumbling mass of metal.’
    • ‘If the pilot advances the throttle to obtain full power from the engine, the thrust will exceed the drag and the airplane will begin to accelerate.’
    • ‘There's only a throttle lever for power control - push forward to go, pull back to stop.’
    • ‘Those damn turbojets were pretty powerful once you pushed the throttles all the way forward and left them there.’
    • ‘Remember, even at a constant throttle opening and engine rpm, airflow volume (cubic feet per minute) varies with air density.’
    • ‘‘I turned off my fuel, closed my throttle and made a Mayday call,’ she says.’
    • ‘I pushed the throttle forward and was immediately mashed backward against the seat and off down the runway.’
    • ‘The free swiveling nose wheel is steered by differential brakes, rudder and throttles and the aircraft is very maneuverable on the ground.’
    • ‘The Liberator nodded on its nosewheel as Ken pushed the throttles forward and cranked up the superchargers.’
    • ‘The first thing you'll notice after strapping yourself in is that there's two of everything: two throttles, two propeller controls, two mixtures and two of each gauge.’
    • ‘How does it go at full throttle from third gear on?’
    • ‘The throttle and fuel mixture for the left engine were secured and the pilot activated the left engine feathering button again.’
    • ‘The engine's electronic throttle control is designed to increase manifold pressure to maintain engine torque.’
  • 2archaic A person's throat, gullet, or windpipe.

    • ‘The neck of each bottle she thrusts down her throttle.’
    • ‘He used to carry home to me..from his anatomy class..the throttles of all kinds of animals.’


  • 1Attack or kill (someone) by choking or strangling them:

    ‘she was sorely tempted to throttle him’
    figurative ‘international sanctions were then throttling the country's economy’
    • ‘You just feel scared that the barman is going to throttle you.’
    • ‘‘I'd like to throttle some Western leaders with physical aggression, which doesn't come easily to me,’ he says.’
    • ‘Novak looked extremely uncomfortable on Meet the Press today, and David Broder looked like he was going to throttle him.’
    • ‘I watched my fair share of horror or violent films as a kid and I never went out and tried my hand at throttling someone or whatever.’
    • ‘It's a rare manager who, at least once in a while, isn't firmly convinced that his department's performance would perk up dramatically if one employee or another were quietly throttled.’
    • ‘This is a great read for any Aussie who has ever done the London thing and found themselves wanting to throttle people on the tube.’
    • ‘At windswept Dens, Archie McPherson has a near-death experience when he is almost throttled by his own comb-over, 18-inch strands entwining in the gale to form a deadly ligature.’
    • ‘The man may not be the crazed attacker who throttled the young lawyer and tried to force her into the boot of her car last Thursday, but he was in the Leeds car park when the terrifying incident took place.’
    • ‘Daughter is fuming and wants to throttle someone badly.’
    • ‘His temper tantrums have acquired him the further sobriquet of ‘Kung-fu Kahn’ after he merrily throttled one opponent and bit a chunk out of another.’
    • ‘This is the question that, when asked before 3PM, makes me want to throttle him.’
    • ‘You just want to throttle these people, if that's what it takes to get it through their heads.’
    • ‘A white Scots bloke was throttling a black bloke and telling him to calm down whilst his (Scot's) girlfriend was trying to pull him off.’
    • ‘Feel free to throttle him. go for it. we'll all be rooting for you - he's such a… guy.’
    • ‘Video cameras showed Kirk throttling his victim.’
    • ‘Not only does it offer an unflattering view of her stomach and corset-bra, but it appears to be throttling her.’
    • ‘Number of occasions on which I wanted to throttle Anna = 7’
    • ‘All I want to do is yell at the top of my lungs and throttle people.’
    • ‘The nurse claims that on one occasion a prisoner tried to throttle her, but the incident was recorded only as an ‘obstruction’.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, it's personal: Brown's drill sergeant persona thoroughly throttles his mother hen.’
    • ‘Avoid thinking aloud lest others are tempted to throttle you.’
    choke, strangle, strangulate, garrotte, asphyxiate, smother, suffocate, stifle
    suppress, inhibit, stifle, control, restrain, check, contain, put a lid on, put the lid on
    View synonyms
  • 2Control (an engine or vehicle) with a throttle:

    ‘it has two engines that can be throttled’
    • ‘The pilot wiped out his flight controls, throttled the engines to military thrust, and quickly checked the instruments.’
    • ‘At Guiromélans's signal, Gofannon throttles up the engines to full steam, and the sloop surges forward.’
    • ‘Seconds later, she heard a car being throttled and soon enough, she found a Ford pulling away from the driveway.’
    • ‘I pulled the car into gear, throttled it onto the road no idea where I was going - just drove toward a feudal kingdom's frontiers.’
    • ‘Even with the second engine throttled up as high as it would go, Barnes still could not keep the ship airborne.’
    • ‘OverDrive throttles the core clock speed to get maximum performance while staying under a maximum allowable temperature.’
    • ‘He shunted power from his shields to engines and throttled to full.’
    • ‘With the engine throttled right back, I was once again very aware of the very slow and somewhat erratic airborne idling characteristics of the Kestrel.’
    • ‘As the last aircraft began to taxi, when the F - 16 pilot throttled up his engine, fuel began gushing from the left wing fuel vent.’
    • ‘Because liquid-fuel rockets can be throttled up and down by varying the flow of fuel, they have an inherent safety advantage over the shuttle's solid-fuel boosters.’
    • ‘He throttled the engine as he pulled the car away from the curb.’
    • ‘The system uses substantially higher levels of EGR and throttles the fresh intake oxygen back from 21 percent to the 11 to 14 percent range.’
    • ‘The thermal monitor's control circuit, when active, lowers the CPU temperature by throttling the internal CPU clockspeed.’
    • ‘Antes throttled up to full and headed off in search of the radar anomaly.’
    • ‘He watched as Rock boarded the aircraft, then slowly and methodically, he throttled up the engines.’
    • ‘Liquid fuel engines can be throttled up and down during a flight.’
    • ‘Monty throttled the engines back as they passed the sentinel points of a reef.’
    1. 2.1throttle back" or "down[no object] Reduce the power of an engine or vehicle by use of the throttle:
      ‘the pitch of the engine fell as the driver throttled back’
      • ‘Monty throttled the engines back as they passed the sentinel points of a reef.’
      • ‘After liftoff, at nearly 100 percent of rated thrust, the engine throttles back momentarily.’
      • ‘Rob taxied the Concorde to an unlit area at the end of the airfield and throttled back the engines to wait.’
      • ‘I always find it unnerving to throttle back large piston aero engines to idle in flight, and the Kestrel was no exception.’
      • ‘Get your boat up on plane quickly and smoothly, and then throttle back to cruising speed.’
      • ‘After reaching the usual 8000-ft cruising altitude, the engines were throttled back to create a moderate cabin noise level.’
      • ‘Rada throttled back the engine and put the motors into neutral gear.’
      • ‘The enemy pilot had throttled back, reducing airspeed and flattening the spiral dive.’
      • ‘He taxied to the main runway of the research base and throttled down.’
      • ‘Cyrrin throttled down and took his place at the head of the Titan formation.’


Late Middle English (as a verb): perhaps a frequentative, from throat; the noun (dating from the mid 16th century in sense 2) is perhaps a diminutive of throat, but the history of the word is not clear.