American English

Definition of stifle verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they stifle
    he / she / it stifles
    past simple stifled
    -ing form stifling
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  1. 1[transitive] stifle something to prevent something from happening; to prevent a feeling from being expressed synonym suppress She was unable to stifle a yawn. They hope the new rules will not stifle creativity. The government failed to stifle the unrest.
  2. 2[intransitive, transitive] to feel unable to breathe, or to make someone unable to breathe, because it is too hot and/or there is no fresh air synonym suffocate I felt I was stifling in the airless room. stifle somebody Most of the victims were stifled by the fumes.
adjective a stifling room It's stifling in here—can we open a window?” At 25, she found family life stifling.
adverb The room was stiflingly hot.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: stifle