- 1[intransitive, transitive] to die because there is no air to breathe; to kill somebody by not letting them breathe air Many dogs have suffocated in hot cars. suffocate somebody/something The couple were suffocated by fumes from a faulty gas fire. He put the pillow over her face and suffocated her. (figurative) She felt suffocated by all the rules and regulations.
- 2[intransitive] be suffocating if it is suffocating, it is very hot and there is little fresh air Can I open a window? It's suffocating in here! Word Origin late 15th cent. (earlier (late Middle English) as suffocation): from Latin suffocat-
BrE BrE//ˈsʌfəkeɪt//; NAmE NAmE//ˈsʌfəkeɪt//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they suffocate
BrE BrE//ˈsʌfəkeɪt//; NAmE NAmE//ˈsʌfəkeɪt//he / she / it suffocates
BrE BrE//ˈsʌfəkeɪts//; NAmE NAmE//ˈsʌfəkeɪts//past simple suffocated
BrE BrE//ˈsʌfəkeɪtɪd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈsʌfəkeɪtɪd//past participle suffocated
BrE BrE//ˈsʌfəkeɪtɪd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈsʌfəkeɪtɪd//-ing form suffocating
BrE BrE//ˈsʌfəkeɪtɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈsʌfəkeɪtɪŋ//