View synonyms for asphyxiate


[ as-fik-see-eyt ]

verb (used with object)

, as·phyx·i·at·ed, as·phyx·i·at·ing.
  1. to produce asphyxia in.
  2. to cause to die or lose consciousness by impairing normal breathing, as by gas or other noxious agents; choke; suffocate; smother.

verb (used without object)

, as·phyx·i·at·ed, as·phyx·i·at·ing.
  1. to become asphyxiated.


/ æsˈfɪksɪˌeɪt /


  1. to cause asphyxia in or undergo asphyxia; smother; suffocate

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Derived Forms

  • asˈphyxiˌator, noun
  • asˌphyxiˈation, noun

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Other Words From

  • as·phyx·i·a·tion [as-fik-see-, ey, -sh, uh, n] noun
  • as·phyx·i·a·tor noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of asphyxiate1

First recorded in 1830–40; asphyxi(a) + -ate 1

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Example Sentences

If they pass, the Sarco will release nitrogen gas, which asphyxiates them in minutes.

In March 2020, Daniel Prude asphyxiated after being hooded and handcuffed by police in Rochester, NY.

From Time

In his mind, he says, play constant images of Khashoggi, who evidence indicates was slowly asphyxiated by a team of agents and dismembered with a bone saw.

Pino, my old gardener, thinks this is a bad idea—that it will soot up in no time, asphyxiating the vertebrates below who just want to sit near the fire and read a book.

From Fortune

It is not only that such women do nothing themselves—they slowly asphyxiate their friends, their brothers, or their husbands.

A tablespoonful poured on a cow-chip and rolled down a dog hole will asphyxiate the entire family.

Compression of the vagus nerve may slow the child's pulse and asphyxiate it through lack of oxygen in the blood.

When version has been done haste may compress the head in the tight cervix and asphyxiate the child.

It might precipitate, into the air, gases which would asphyxiate us or cause a general conflagration.


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