to kill by preventing the access of air to the blood through the lungs or analogous organs, as gills; strangle.
to impede the respiration of.
to discomfort by a lack of fresh or cool air.
to overcome or extinguish; suppress.
- suf·fo·cat·ing·ly, adverb
- suf·fo·ca·tion [suhf-uh-key-shuhn], /ˌsʌf əˈkeɪ ʃən/, noun
- suf·fo·ca·tive, adjective
- un·suf·fo·cat·ed, adjective
- un·suf·fo·ca·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use suffocate in a sentence
They pay in having to cope with sizzling health waves, powerful hurricanes, and suffocating wildfire smoke.
Discovering that plants need sunlight to grow, or that fish will suffocate when taken out of water, requires no quantification of anything whatsoever.Why Physics Can’t Tell Us What Life Is - Issue 92: Frontiers | Jeremy England | October 21, 2020 | Nautilus
Scores of businesses in the city are suffocating as they delay their return to work or, worse, decide to work from home forever.Why New Yorkers aren't going back to their offices | Erica Pandey | October 6, 2020 | Axios
We’ve read through quite a few letters about Zoom, suffocating family dinners, the role of sound and music, birthdays and anniversaries, and racially charged encounters.Letter-writing staved off lockdown loneliness. Now it’s getting out the vote. | Tanya Basu | September 18, 2020 | MIT Technology Review
In industries where specific brand names have become synonymous with their original product, new brands can easily be suffocated out of the game.Inbound marketing for brand awareness: Four up-to-date ways to do it | Ali Faagba | September 11, 2020 | Search Engine Watch
Her adopted daughter tried to suffocate a younger biological sibling.
Somewhere in the theater, you also hear a soft, whimpering, “Help”—a woman is about to suffocate on her own tears.Ranking the Saddest Scenes in ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ | Kevin Fallon | June 9, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
I hated that the town response to tragedy and suffering was to suffocate the afflicted family with attention.How 'The Little Way of Ruthie Leming' Taught Me It's OK to Love My Hometown | Justin Green | April 10, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Yet the key development will hinge on sanctions aiming to suffocate the regime, a current point of division.
Before You suffocate Your Own Fool Selfby Danielle Evans A powerful short story collection from a rising star.
As it was, ere he had time to suffocate, MacPherson was on the spot.Earth's Enigmas | Charles G. D. Roberts
They would first suffocate, and later their bodies would be swallowed up in the stomach of the earth.The Land of the Changing Sun | William N. Harben
The gas emitted from this fissure is so strong that it would suffocate a person, holding his head near the ground.Early Western Travels 1748-1846, Volume XXX | Joel Palmer
Insects do not easily suffocate, and it is worse than useless, in the majority of cases, to punch air-holes in such boxes.Directions for Collecting and Preserving Insects | C. V. Riley
Many females in fact cry out at those times, that something has broken in the throat, and they fear they are going to suffocate.
British Dictionary definitions for suffocate
to kill or be killed by the deprivation of oxygen, as by obstruction of the air passage or inhalation of noxious gases
to block the air passages or have the air passages blocked
to feel or cause to feel discomfort from heat and lack of air
- suffocating, adjective
- suffocatingly, adverb
- suffocation, noun
- suffocative, adjective
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