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[strang-guh lz] /ˈstræŋ gəlz/
noun, (used with a singular verb) Veterinary Pathology.
distemper1 (def 1b).
Origin of strangles
1590-1600; obsolete strangle act of strangling + -s3


[strang-guh l] /ˈstræŋ gəl/
verb (used with object), strangled, strangling.
to kill by squeezing the throat in order to compress the windpipe and prevent the intake of air, as with the hands or a tightly drawn cord.
to kill by stopping the breath in any manner; choke; stifle; suffocate.
to prevent the continuance, growth, rise, or action of; suppress:
Censorship strangles a free press.
verb (used without object), strangled, strangling.
to be choked, stifled, or suffocated.
1250-1300; Middle English strangelen < Old French estrangler < Latin strangulāre < Greek strangalân, derivative of strangálē halter, akin to strangós twisted
Related forms
strangler, noun
stranglingly, adverb
unstrangled, adjective
1. garrote, throttle, choke. 2. smother. 3. check, repress, gag, muzzle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for strangles
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • strangles occurs in the young principally and is not a frequent cause of synovitis or arthritis in the adult animal.

    Lameness of the Horse John Victor Lacroix
  • Exclusiveness is a constricting cord that strangles progress.

  • There's a devil in me that gets up on its hind legs and strangles what little good it finds.

    Mavericks William MacLeod Raine
  • It stifles the spirit of progress and strangles its pioneers.

    Flowers of Freethought George W. Foote
  • For a maiden effort they never suck knowledge gently in, but attempt a gulp which strangles.

    Buffalo Land W. E. Webb
  • He is the eunuch who brings the bowstring, and strangles at the order of the Day.

    The History of Pendennis William Makepeace Thackeray
  • They may become soft and break down and discharge as abscesses; this is seen constantly in strangles.

    Special Report on Diseases of the Horse United States Department of Agriculture
  • Anything is possible of your daughter—the thought of it strangles me!

    The Sins of the Father Thomas Dixon
  • The military system which prevails in all matters administered through the Army, strangles all individual initiative and opinion.

    Our National Defense: George Hebard Maxwell
British Dictionary definitions for strangles


(functioning as sing) an acute bacterial disease of horses caused by infection with Streptococcus equi, characterized by inflammation of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, resulting in abscesses and a nasal discharge Also called equine distemper
Word Origin
C18: from strangle


(transitive) to kill by compressing the windpipe; throttle
(transitive) to prevent or inhibit the growth or development of: to strangle originality
(transitive) to suppress (an utterance) by or as if by swallowing suddenly: to strangle a cry
See also strangles
Word Origin
C13: via Old French, ultimately from Greek strangalē a halter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for strangles



c.1300, from Old French estrangler, from Latin strangulare "to choke, stifle, check, constrain," from Greek strangalan "choke, twist," from strangale "a halter, cord, lace," related to strangos "twisted," from PIE root *strenk- "tight, narrow; pull tight, twist" (see strain (v.)). Related: Strangled; strangling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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strangles in Medicine

strangle stran·gle (strāng'gəl)
v. stran·gled, stran·gling, stran·gles
To compress the trachea so as to prevent sufficient passage of air; suffocate.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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