- 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
Examples from the Web for stifled
One gets the sense that these are the words Sotomayor stifled, or perhaps drafted and circulated, in Fisher.Affirmative Action Isn’t Oppressive, but the Roberts Court Wants to End It Anyway
April 23, 2014
Lukashenko, shaped by the colonial experience, stifled their project in infancy.Forget Kim Jong Un—China’s New Favorite Dictator Is Belarus’s Aleksandr Lukashenko.
January 28, 2014
Stifled by fear, our leaders lose perspective and cease being authentic and vulnerable.The Vulnerability of American Rabbis
Rabbi Jonah Geffen
November 8, 2013
Did you feel like when you were acting as the first lady of France, it stifled you artistically?Carla Bruni Opens Up About Her New Album, Being First Lady, Fashion, and More
June 27, 2013
I think later in life our creativity can get stifled because we think we have to grow up and mature our ideas.Meet Flynn McGarry: America’s Next Great Chef Is 14 Years Old
May 23, 2013
Positively, there did seem to be a kind of stifled murmur, within!The Paradise of Children
"It is ten minutes past the twelve," she answered in a stifled voice.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
Every spark of human feeling had evidently been stifled in him.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
"It's—it's going to the wash," said a stiff and stifled voice.The Incomplete Amorist
The stifled laughter of the other travellers showed me that I had won over my audience.My Double Life
- (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 stifled
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.