Main definitions of stifle in US English:

: stifle1stifle2

stifle1

verb

[with object]
  • 1Make (someone) unable to breathe properly; suffocate.

    ‘those in the streets were stifled by the fumes’
    • ‘The ground gave way as the plants pulled him down, knocking the wind out of his chest, and stealing the air he could have breathed by stifling him with their multitude.’
    • ‘When the Indians set fire to the main building as well as the sheds, the flames fanned into a sunburst, and their smoke stifled the people of Fort Mims.’
    • ‘Ryan growled with exasperation and pulled the covers back over him, even though he was stifling hot.’
    • ‘I dumped my backpack at my feet and took his coat off because the heat was stifling.’
    • ‘Last night I went out and two ladies who were sitting at my table were stifling me with their perfume.’
    • ‘I sat up in bed, suddenly aware my room was stifling hot.’
    • ‘When Logan got off the plane he was completely stifled by the suffocating heat of Michigan.’
    • ‘The heat was stifling, and rose in waves off of the sand.’
    very hot, sweltering
    suffocate, choke, asphyxiate
    View synonyms
  • 2Restrain (a reaction) or stop oneself acting on (an emotion)

    ‘she stifled a giggle’
    ‘she stifled a desire to turn and flee’
    ‘she gave a stifled cry of disappointment’
    • ‘Jake shot a look at them and they abruptly stopped, trying to stifle their laughter.’
    • ‘And, well, I simply couldn't stifle my giggles.’
    • ‘Victor heard her stifle a cry as he held a small mirror for her.’
    • ‘John stopped trying to stifle the laughter and glared at her.’
    • ‘He began to speak, but had to stop again to stifle a giggle.’
    • ‘It is here that two men stand - the boy recognizes one of them instantly, and has to stifle a surprised cry.’
    • ‘Justin then stifled a nervous laugh and muttered something under his breath.’
    • ‘He stifled his immediate reaction, although he couldn't keep from tightening his jaw.’
    • ‘I stop trying to stifle it when I realize that about half the people in the audience are chuckling.’
    • ‘Lex thought for a minute, and then stifled a gasp.’
    • ‘Pundits and fans couldn't stifle their laughter.’
    • ‘Gabrielle winced as she saw her Mom stifle a cry.’
    • ‘Julia stifles a gasp and puts a hand over her mouth, remaining silent.’
    • ‘Ray had to stifle a groan as he made his way to the table.’
    • ‘He almost choked on his meat but managed to stifle his sudden reaction to her statement with a hastily gulp of water.’
    • ‘He stifled a groan and touched her cheek, soft and flushed with sleep.’
    • ‘I quickly stifled my laughter as Hyde began to tickle my palm.’
    • ‘I tried as much as possible, but I couldn't stifle the giggles that escaped after that.’
    • ‘I stifle a barely-controlled giggle and pray for our stop.’
    • ‘I scrunched my brows then stifled my laugh.’
    suppress, smother, restrain, keep back, hold back, hold in, fight back, choke back, gulp back, withhold, check, keep in check, swallow, muffle, quench, curb, silence, contain, bottle up
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Prevent or constrain (an activity or idea)
      ‘high taxes were stifling private enterprise’
      • ‘The wave of mergers and consolidations has certainly not stifled innovation or inhibited the creation of new brands.’
      • ‘The system is now clearly stifling innovation and competition and needs to be radically changed.’
      • ‘His television networks thrive because private competition is stifled.’
      • ‘A county judge dismissed that case last April under a California law aimed at discouraging lawsuits that stifle constitutionally-protected activities.’
      • ‘Today's technology also can interfere with forming solid alliances, which can stifle excellent ideas.’
      • ‘We reject them because they will put still more power to politicians and bureaucrats, because they stifle economic development rather than fostering it.’
      • ‘But this traps them into replacing one orthodoxy with another, stifling rather than expanding debate.’
      • ‘The bureaucracy, hidden taxes and social-security payments burdening German employers are so onerous, they stifle new enterprise.’
      • ‘This migration, he added, could be stifled without regulatory restraint.’
      • ‘The president, elected last year in a controversial ballot, has stifled dissent.’
      • ‘And by distributing a new pattern of economic activity over a broad rural area, even while stifling growth, prisons create sprawl.’
      • ‘As a result you are going to be stifling the activity of the most grassroots, casual type of political action, rather than that of the big press corporation.’
      • ‘Taxes stifle enterprise only if they increase with enterprise.’
      • ‘The focus on job creation in the public sector in cities like Bradford is stifling growth in private industry, leading business chiefs have warned.’
      • ‘This will simply stifle business activity and unjustifiably obstruct the free movement of people within the EU.’
      • ‘The public service in Scotland is stifling private enterprise.’
      • ‘Missive after missive describes the burden of the existing system, and how 20 more years of control will stifle creative work.’
      • ‘But there is a danger that these new regulations will stifle innovation, by forcing everybody to comply with blanket standards of accessibility.’
      • ‘Given the climate and the other equally ridiculous laws being proposed to stifle innovation, my hopes aren't very high.’
      • ‘The malfunction of enterprises stifled the growth of innovative designers.’
      constrain, hinder, hamper, impede, hold back, curb, check, restrain, prevent, inhibit
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: perhaps from a frequentative of Old French estouffer ‘smother, stifle’.

Pronunciation

stifle

/ˈstaɪfəl//ˈstīfəl/

Main definitions of stifle in US English:

: stifle1stifle2

stifle2

(also stifle joint)

noun

  • A joint in the legs of horses, dogs, and other animals, equivalent to the knee in humans.

    • ‘At necropsy all stifle joints were stable to an anterior drawer force with no significant limitations in passive range of motion.’
    • ‘It primarily occurs in the shoulder or elbow joints, but it can affect the hocks or stifles, too.’
    • ‘Usually small spots on the hip or back indicate white factor; some breeders believe that any white extended up the hind leg into the stifle suggests that white factor is present.’
    • ‘Alas, Tamarillo went down late last night with a knock to the stifle joint incurred over the cross-county and was withdrawn.’
    • ‘‘He hurt a stifle behind in the Belmont,’ the trainer told us.’

Origin

Middle English: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

stifle

/ˈstaɪfəl//ˈstīfəl/