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[throt-l] /ˈθrɒt l/
Also called throttle lever. a lever, pedal, handle, etc., for controlling or manipulating a throttle valve.
the throat, gullet, or windpipe, as of a horse.
verb (used with object), throttled, throttling.
to stop the breath of by compressing the throat; strangle.
to choke or suffocate in any way.
to compress by fastening something tightly around.
to silence or check as if by choking:
His message was throttled by censorship.
  1. to obstruct or check the flow of (a fluid), as to control the speed of an engine.
  2. to reduce the pressure of (a fluid) by passing it from a smaller area to a larger one.
at full throttle, at maximum speed.
Origin of throttle
1350-1400; (v.) Middle English throtelen, frequentative of throten to cut the throat of (someone), strangle, derivative of throat; (noun) probably diminutive of Middle English throte throat; compare German Drossel
Related forms
throttler, noun
unthrottled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for throttle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then, adjusting the timer and throttle on the engine and seeing that the gasoline tank was filled, the lad started up his motor.

  • Then he opened the throttle wide, and advanced the sparking lever a little.

    Lady Bountiful George A. Birmingham
  • Weaver came to himself a bit and grabbed frantically for brake and throttle and steering-wheel all at once, it looked like.

    The Range Dwellers B. M. Bower
  • I was afraid to open the throttle anywhere, lest she break and drop away.

    Child and Country Will Levington Comfort
  • He cut her back a notch, but allowed the throttle to remain wide open.

  • He remembered that day, long ago, when he had opened the throttle of his first machine.

    The Octopus Frank Norris
  • I questioned, more perhaps to throttle my own nervousness by speech than from better motive.

    My Lady of the North Randall Parrish
  • Norris restrained an impulse to throttle him and allowed Barry to proceed.

    Jewel Weed Alice Ames Winter
British Dictionary definitions for throttle


Also called throttle valve. any device that controls the quantity of fuel or fuel and air mixture entering an engine
an informal or dialect word for throat
verb (transitive)
to kill or injure by squeezing the throat
to suppress: to throttle the press
to control or restrict (a flow of fluid) by means of a throttle valve
Derived Forms
throttler, noun
Word Origin
C14:throtelen, from throtethroat
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 throttle

"strangle to death," c.1400, probably from Middle English throte "throat" (see throat). Related: Throttled; throttling. The noun, in the mechanical sense, is first recorded 1870s, from throttle-valve (1824), but was used earlier as a synonym for "throat" (1540s); it appears to be an independent formation, not derived from the verb.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for throttle


Related Terms

bend the throttle

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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