Definition of squelch in US English:



[no object]
  • 1Make a soft sucking sound such as that made by walking heavily through mud.

    ‘bedraggled guests squelched across the lawn to seek shelter’
    • ‘It was eerily quiet on this most famous hillside last Saturday afternoon, with just myself and a small party of Dutch tourists squelching round the battle field in the unexpected sunshine.’
    • ‘It was either leave the boat in the dunes and make the long walk of shame back to Gloucester, squelching along in my reef socks, or get back in and claw away with my hamburgered hooks, like old Howard B. himself.’
    • ‘The horses' hooves squelched in the muck of the roadway as they crossed to the south end where a faint light glimmered past the edge of the last house.’
    • ‘Now I'm talking about it so much it sounds like my life is a constant stream of noxious gases, like I walk around all day pumping, rasping and squelching.’
    • ‘Here, even though we've had more rain than is normal for a wet April, and some fields lay sodden and squelching, we seem to have escaped lightly.’
    • ‘After spending just three minutes squelching along the shore amid fallen branches and mighty oaks felled by the weekend's storms, they climbed back on their minibus to drive to Bayliff Wood.’
    • ‘It involves squelching about on the river bed at the low-water mark, hammering stakes and stowers of coppiced hazel into the mud, to be woven with branches to withstand three tides.’
    • ‘We sat in exhaust-fumigated traffic for what seemed like hours without moving, inching our way through Galway as tar squelched under rubber, producing that pungent smell of bitumen and oil.’
    • ‘It's not until she's in the empty car park that she hears her own footsteps squelching on the wet surface and realises there's another set of sounds behind her.’
    • ‘The clouds were low on the hills and heavy overnight thunder - storms had left the track squelching underfoot, but I was in good, boisterous company.’
    • ‘The sound of a single sliding footstep squelching through the thick mud alerted him.’
    • ‘And then, trainers still squelching, it was time for everyone to disperse.’
    • ‘‘This is probably the only time I'll ever come here,’ she says firmly, as she squelches up to the field called Lost Vagueness, where Druid lovers and insomniac wasters hang out till dawn.’
    • ‘And, it's probably an old poet's fancy, but I swear as I was walking about in Williton today I could almost feel the pavement squelching underfoot, as if the water has crept up and is laying directly underneath.’
    • ‘As I squelched across the living room carpet, examining the multitude of shades and stains it now possessed and marvelling at a pint glass full to the brim with ash and fag ends, something struck me.’
    • ‘In a nearby part of the forest, a tall figure dashed confidently through the winding trees, the soft earth squelching slightly beneath his feet.’
    • ‘He triggered the only real chance of the first half, banging a quick-fire corner to the back post, where Kirk Broadfoot barrelled in to bullet a header that squelched enticingly across the six-yard box.’
    • ‘Among other reasons, I'd be too afraid that people will get lulled into apathy again if reports about possible terrorist attempts get squelched.’
    • ‘Griffith had abandoned his own horse and was in the midst of walking towards him, his expression one of careful curiosity tinged with concern, his tall black boots spotted with muck as long grass squelched under his feet.’
    ruin, undermine, put an end to, put at risk, subvert, overturn, topple, scupper, scotch, sabotage, spoil, mess up, make a mess of, quash, crush, harm, cripple, impair, mar, destroy, devastate, play havoc with, wreck, smash, shatter, annihilate, eradicate, obliterate, defeat
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal with object Forcefully silence or suppress.
      ‘property developers tried to squelch public protest’
      • ‘‘Central planning’ would squelch individual freedom and squander public resources, they claimed.’
      • ‘Barring miracle remission on a continental scale, only aggressive, coordinated medical relief, public health programs and public information campaigns squelch epidemics.’
      • ‘When Anwar's supporters tried to stage a demonstration in Kuala Lumpur on April 15, the police picked up key leaders beforehand and flooded the capital with enough officers to successfully squelch the protest.’
      • ‘While such bosses may give lip service to good management, their fundamental insecurity squelches the development of their employees and is ultimately demoralizing and bad for business.’
      • ‘To oppose them would limit or squelch the possibilities they represent.’
      • ‘Richard and Dawkins tried to protest, but one look from the commander squelched their arguments.’
      • ‘He blames Post-Modern architects for repopularizing traditional styles and squelching the public's tolerance for Modern architecture.’
      • ‘The coming debate will be over whether the solution is to create a more sweeping form of public school choice or to revive private school vouchers to create the alternative the public system has so far squelched.’
      • ‘A Ste Anne-area man convicted of arson last spring had his bid to overturn the ruling squelched in Manitoba's highest court last Wednesday.’
      • ‘The security police quickly squelched an extremely rare public demonstration demanding political reform on Monday, the 41st anniversary of the Baath Party's seizure of power here.’
      • ‘The government's strong-arm tactics may squelch protests, but they don't extinguish yearnings for freedom.’
      • ‘Such possibilities, combined with a poor climate for agriculture, squelched widespread agricultural development.’
      • ‘Their definition of feminism paralleled definitions provided by feminists, who argued that women's rights and personal development were often squelched because of family responsibilities.’
      • ‘The fact that there's so much diversity in representation squelches the anxieties people will very likely have around how she's representing brothers.’
      • ‘Johnny, however, knowing how Jelly couldn't keep a secret, just gave him a look that squelched any further protests.’
      • ‘The neutron bomb was not only squelched, but all development stopped as a matter of policy because it was even worse than low-yield nuclear warheads in eroding the nuclear firebreak.’
      • ‘Public schools, public transportation, and public health - these are to be squelched for a large refund to the rich and a marginal check to the middle-class.’
      • ‘But the BCFL and the social-democratic NDP have squelched even a protest campaign against the government.’
      • ‘The truth is that communism cannot exist without force because it depends so heavily upon squelching individual human ambition and making it subservient to the community.’
      • ‘Our lauded racial tolerance may have squelched overtly racist jokes but it often seems like a lot of different kinds of people living side-by-side, mostly peacefully, but not really together.’
      suppress, quell, quash, subdue, put down, put an end to, crush, squash, extinguish, stamp out, put a stop to, stop, end, nip in the bud
      View synonyms


  • 1A soft sucking sound made when pressure is applied to liquid or mud.

    ‘the squelch of their feet’
    • ‘First though a dip across today's valley, from the moor, down through birch, the squelch of boggy bits, a first crossing of Ladhill Beck and then up through bilberries and a rock field.’
    • ‘As a writer, perhaps equally so: Nigella routinely rejects words like braise and simmer in favor of much juicier language: blitz and squelch and my personal favorite, splodge.’
    • ‘As I emerged from the forest, all I could hear in the stillness was the constant squelch of my tyres churning through mud and the lazy hum of a plane which I assumed had just set free from one of the gliders that fly off Sutton Bank.’
    • ‘A soft squelch from the other side of the tree caught his attention, he peered round.’
    • ‘Actually, for most of the time the path was sound, except for spring-fed squelches.’
    • ‘The thud of the wound, the squelch of the intrusion of iron into flesh was punctuated with the gasp of the Vikings.’
    • ‘Nothing squelches arousal like the terrible feeling you get from lying to someone you love.’
    • ‘He grimaced as his feet sank into the muck with an audible squelch.’
    • ‘Unable to restrain himself, he crashes the do, squelches in and approaches (her).’
    • ‘She then proceeded to pluck Lucky from the puddle of mud (she made a loud squelch and left a perfect Kellogg's-like imprint) and carry her into the barn.’
    • ‘The concrete under foot was cold and unpleasantly damp, with intermittent soft squelches and sharp jabs.’
    • ‘City striker Colin Alcide and Brighton goalkeeper Mark Walton squelch to the rain-sodden turf at Bootham Crescent.’
    • ‘They'll have fun as they mould, poke, squelch, knead, model and make.’
    • ‘Oh, apart from the extra squelch factor that slugs seem to have - their innards seem to be almost luminous and spread a lot further than the average snail.’
    • ‘I felt a squelch of nerves before the read-through and wondered if everything I'd written was a bit rubbish but, as it turned out, it's not.’
    • ‘The monsoon freshness in the middle of summer, the squelch of rain on grass blades whispering, blue sky shimmering through the foliage, the autumn sun beating down on the grass, the cleansing cool breeze of an unspoilt forest.’
    • ‘A disgusting squelch echoed around the concrete enclosure as a plastic bag split open, revealing beneath the rotting fruit, an identical device.’
    • ‘I stopped to watch it and smiled like a maniac and felt my heart grow bigger and squelch open and leak strawberry serotonin smoothie all over my lungs and ribs and out through my nostrils and navel and onto my toes.’
    • ‘For a moment she's blindly confused as to who to hit, then she lashes out with the heel of her foot, and there's a sickening squelch from the NCB coal sack between them.’
  • 2Electronics
    A circuit that suppresses the output of a radio receiver if the signal strength falls below a certain level.

    • ‘I have tested these radios and they break the preset squelch at a distance of about 2 miles, broadcasting an estimated 500 mw at roughly 440 MHz.’
    • ‘During the morning brief, the shop's supervisor announced that the new squelch module for the receiver had arrived and asked for volunteers to do the replacement.’
    • ‘A technique is used by a squelch circuit that generates a fast squelch.’
    • ‘Receivers use squelch detect circuits to recognize this condition, or the absence of this condition.’
    • ‘As I continued east at more than 600 knots, the ELT beacon became strong enough to break through the squelch setting of my radio.’


Early 17th century (originally denoting a heavy crushing fall on to something soft): imitative.