Definition of suffocate verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    suffocate

     verb
    verb
    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//
     
     
    jump to other results
  1. 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. 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!
  3. Word Origin late 15th cent. (earlier (late Middle English) as suffocation): from Latin suffocat- ‘stifled’, from the verb suffocare, from sub- ‘below’ + fauces ‘throat’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: suffocate