- to quell, crush, or end by force: to stifle a revolt; to stifle free expression.
- to suppress, curb, or withhold: to stifle a yawn.
- to kill by impeding respiration; smother.
- to suffer from difficulty in breathing, as in a close atmosphere.
- to become stifled or suffocated.
Origin of stifle1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- (in a horse or other quadruped) the joint between the femur and the tibia, corresponding anatomically to the human knee.
Origin of stifle2
Examples from the Web for stifle
But the House approved a measure last month to stifle that proposed expansion.Congress Wants to Keep Norwegian Airlines’ Cheap Flights Out of America
July 11, 2014
Just as goals galore have defined this World Cup in Brazil, so too have the men whose job it is to stifle and stop those goals.Team USA Goes Down Swinging in 2-1 World Cup Loss to Belgium
July 1, 2014
The NY Governor has set off a right-wing firestorm, standing accused of seeking to stifle free speech and political plurality.Governor Cuomo: ‘Extreme Conservatives Have No Place In New York’
January 22, 2014
Good technology tends to win out over time, despite all the attempts by the old guard to stifle it.No DNA Testing For You, Thanks to the FDA
November 26, 2013
He again turns Medicare into a voucher program, a position he had to stifle in 2012, because Romney did not approve.Why Paul Ryan’s Star Dimmed
March 21, 2013
As He knows so well where to hit us we must stifle our moans when He does so.The Conquest of Fear
So hard it is, even for the most depraved, to stifle the last embers of the moral sense.Stories from Thucydides
H. L. Havell
Chip made haste to stifle his mirth, in fear that she was going to cry.Chip, of the Flying U
B. M. Bower
Then, the moment I reached home, it seemed to me I should stifle were I to enter the house.The Dream
Because it seemed to me that we were all of us, all day long, endeavouring to stifle the voice.The Uncommercial Traveller
- (tr) to smother or suppressstifle a cough
- to feel or cause to feel discomfort and difficulty in breathing
- to prevent or be prevented from breathing so as to cause death
- (tr) to crush or stamp out
- the joint in the hind leg of a horse, dog, etc, between the femur and tibia
Word Origin and History for stifle
late 14c., "to choke, suffocate, drown," of uncertain origin, possibly an alteration of Old French estouffer "to stifle, smother," which may be from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German stopfon "to plug up, stuff"). Metaphoric sense is from 1570s. Related: Stifled; stifling.