- suffocating; oppressively close: the stifling atmosphere of the cavern.
Origin of stifling
- 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 stifling
A creeping sense develops that Judy fled not just a stifling culture but a genuine existential threat.Book Bag: Gritty Stories From the Real Montana
Carrie La Seur
October 2, 2014
The monster tech firms are stifling competition and consolidating their power while they expand into new markets.
And nothing squelches education, or the desire for education, like stifling discourse.Dear Jews: Stop Trying to Make People Shut Up
Emily L. Hauser
December 9, 2013
A name like that might ease some of the pressure of living under such a stifling state.Syrians Reject 'Bashar' Name Out of Hatred for President Assad
September 11, 2012
“We want to take this around the world,” Gary says, stifling a yawn.Decentralized Dance Parties: Raves’ Next Wave
February 3, 2012
It was a low room, and though not many were present, the air was stifling.Weighed and Wanting
The hot, searching, stifling African day took possession of the world.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
"I am stifling," said the dying man, rolling round his ghastly eyes.Night and Morning, Complete
The atmosphere was stifling as a night in the rains by reason of the steam and the crowd.American Notes
He raised his arms to heaven, he was stifling with envy and vexation.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
- oppressively hot or stuffya stifling atmosphere
- (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 stifling
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.