- 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[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.
NAmE//ˈstaɪfl//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they stifle
he / she / it stifles
past simple stifled
-ing form stifling
stiflingjump to other results
NAmE//ˈstaɪflɪŋ//adjective a stifling room “It's stifling in here—can we open a window?” At 25, she found family life stifling.
stiflinglyjump to other results
adverb The room was stiflingly hot.