[strang-guh l-hohld]


Wrestling. an illegal hold by which an opponent's breath is choked off.
a restraining hold in which one person uses an arm to encircle the neck of another; a chokehold.
any force or influence that restricts the free actions or development of a person or thing; a stifling grip: to break the stranglehold of superstition.

Origin of stranglehold

First recorded in 1890–95; strangle + hold1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for stranglehold

grip, monopoly, restrict, suppress

Examples from the Web for stranglehold

Contemporary Examples of stranglehold

Historical Examples of stranglehold

  • The smaller the group the tighter its stranglehold over your life and activities.

  • It gave them such a stranglehold––with the right sort of men––and Brace was the right sort.

    At the Crossroads

    Harriet T. Comstock

  • Mrs. Trapes, I've got a stranglehold on that idea, for it is rather brilliant.

    The Definite Object

    Jeffery Farnol

  • The Party manipulators had now got their stranglehold on the country.

    Ireland Since Parnell

    Daniel Desmond Sheehan

  • Then, indeed, the Lhari had been lying all along, the vicious lie that maintained their stranglehold monopoly of star-travel.

    The Colors of Space

    Marion Zimmer Bradley

British Dictionary definitions for stranglehold



a wrestling hold in which a wrestler's arms are pressed against his opponent's windpipeSee also Japanese stranglehold
complete power or control over a person or situation
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

Word Origin and History for stranglehold

1893, in wrestling, from strangle (v.) + hold (n.). Figurative use by 1901.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper