verb (used with object), choked, chok·ing.
verb (used without object), choked, chok·ing.
- to become or cause to become speechless, as from the effect of emotion or stress: She choked up over the sadness of the tale.
- to become too tense or nervous to perform well: Our team began to choke up in the last inning.
Origin of choke
Synonyms for choke
Related Words for choke offdecelerate, handicap, lessen, impede, crimp, hamper, muzzle, subdue, mute, muffle, gag, quell, quash, suppress, squelch, stifle, suspend, bar, avoid, stall
Word Origin for choke
c.1300, transitive, "to strangle;" late 14c., "to make to suffocate," of persons as well as swallowed objects, a shortening of acheken (c.1200), from Old English aceocian "to choke, suffocate" (with intensive a-), probably from root of ceoke "jaw, cheek" (see cheek (n.)).
Intransitive sense from c.1400. Meaning "gasp for breath" is from early 15c. Figurative use from c.1400, in early use often with reference to weeds stifling the growth of useful plants (a Biblical image). Meaning "to fail in the clutch" is attested by 1976, American English. Related: Choked; choking. Choke-cherry (1785) supposedly so called for its astringent qualities. Johnson also has choke-pear "Any aspersion or sarcasm, by which another person is put to silence." Choked up "overcome with emotion and unable to speak" is attested by 1896. The baseball batting sense is by 1907.
1560s, "quinsy," from choke (v.). Meaning "action of choking" is from 1839. Meaning "valve which controls air to a carburetor" first recorded 1926.
Put a stop to, throttle, as in Higher interest rates are choking off the real estate boom. [Early 1800s]
Stop someone from speaking or complaining, as in Throughout the debate the congressman had to be choked off to give the other candidate a chance to speak. [Slang; late 1800s]