What does stifle mean?

Definitions for stifle
ˈstaɪ fəlsti·fle

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word stifle.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. stifle, kneeverb

    joint between the femur and tibia in a quadruped; corresponds to the human knee

  2. smother, stifle, strangle, muffle, repressverb

    conceal or hide

    "smother a yawn"; "muffle one's anger"; "strangle a yawn"

  3. stifle, dampenverb

    smother or suppress

    "Stifle your curiosity"

  4. suffocate, stifle, asphyxiate, chokeverb

    impair the respiration of or obstruct the air passage of

    "The foul air was slowly suffocating the children"

  5. suffocate, stifle, asphyxiateverb

    be asphyxiated; die from lack of oxygen

    "The child suffocated under the pillow"


  1. stiflenoun

    A hind knee of various mammals, especially horses.

  2. stiflenoun

    A bone disease of this region.

  3. stifleverb

    To interrupt or cut off.

  4. stifleverb

    To repress, keep in or hold back.

    The army stifled the rebellion.

  5. stifleverb

    To smother or suffocate.

    The heat was stifling the children.

  6. stifleverb

    To feel smothered etc.

    The heat felt stifling.

  7. stifleverb

    To die of suffocation.

    Two firemen tragically stifled in yesterday's fire when trying to rescue an old lady from her bedroom.

  8. stifleverb

    To treat a silkworm cocoon with steam as part of the process of silk production.

  9. Etymology: From stiflen, from stífla, from stífla, from stīfilaz, from steip-. Cognate with stífla, stivla, stipel, stipe.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Stifleverb

    Etymology: estoufer, French.

    Where have you been broiling?
    —— Among the croud i’ th’ abbey, where a finger
    Cou’d not be wedg’d in more; I am stifled
    With the mere rankness of their joy. William Shakespeare.

    Pray’r against his absolute decree,
    No more avails than breath against the wind;
    Blown stifling back on him that breathes it forth. John Milton.

    That part of the air that we drew out, left the more room for the stifling steams of the coals to be received into it. Boyle.

    Stifled with kisses a sweet death he dies. Dryden.

    At one time they keep their patients so close and warm, as almost to stifle them with care; and all on a sudden, the cold regimen is in vogue. Thomas Baker.

    I took my leave, being half stifled with the closeness of the room. Jonathan Swift, Account of Partridge’s Death.

    Whilst bodies become coloured by reflecting or transmitting this or that sort of rays more copiously than the rest, they stop and stifle in themselves the rays which they do not reflect or transmit. Isaac Newton, Opticks.

    Every reasonable man will pay a tax with chearfulness for stifling a civil war in its birth. Joseph Addison, Freeholder.

    If’t prove thy fortune, Polydore, to conquer,
    Trust me, and let me know thy love’s success,
    That I may ever after stifle mine. Thomas Otway, Orphan.

    These conclusions have been acknowledged by the disputers themselves, till with labour and study they had stifled their first convictions. John Rogers.

    You excel in the art of stifling and concealing your resentment. Jonathan Swift.


  1. stifle

    The stifle joint (often simply stifle) is a complex joint in the hind limbs of quadruped mammals such as the sheep, horse or dog. It is the equivalent of the human knee and is often the largest synovial joint in the animal's body. The stifle joint joins three bones: the femur, patella, and tibia. The joint consists of three smaller ones: the femoropatellar joint, medial femorotibial joint, and lateral femorotibial joint. The stifle joint consists of the femorotibial articulation (femoral and tibial condyles), femoropatellar articulation (femoral trochlea and the patella), and the proximal tibiofibular articulation. The joint is stabilized by paired collateral ligaments which act to prevent abduction/adduction at the joint, as well as paired cruciate ligaments. The cranial cruciate ligament and the caudal cruciate ligament restrict cranial and caudal translation (respectively) of the tibia on the femur. The cranial cruciate also resists over-extension and inward rotation, and is the most commonly damaged stifle ligament in dogs. "Cushioning" of the joint is provided by two C-shaped pieces of cartilage called menisci which sit between the medial and lateral condyles of the distal femur and the tibial plateau. The main biomechanical function of the menisci is probably to divide the joint into two functional units—the "femoromeniscal joint" for flexion/extension movements and the "meniscotibial joint" for rotation—a function analogous to that of the disc dividing the temporomandibular (jaw) joint. The menisci also contain nerve endings which are used to assist in proprioception. The menisci are attached via a variety of ligaments: two meniscotibial ligaments for each meniscus, the meniscofemoral from the lateral meniscus to the femur, the meniscocollateral from the medial meniscus to the medial collateral ligament, and the transverse ligament (or intermeniscal) which runs between the two menisci. There are between one and four sesamoid bones associated with the stifle joint in different species. These sesamoids assist with the smooth movement of tendon/muscle over the joint. The most well-known sesamoid bone is the patella, more commonly known as the "knee cap". It is located cranially to the joint and sits in the trochlear groove of the femur. It guides the patellar ligament of the quadriceps over the knee joint to its point of insertion on the tibia. Caudal to the joint, in the dog for example, are the two fabellae, which lie in the two tendons of origin of gastrocnemius. Fourth, there is often a small sesamoid bone in the tendon of origin of popliteus in many species. Humans possess only the patella. In horses and oxen, the distal part of the tendon of insertion of quadriceps ("below" the patella) is divided into three parts. An elaborate twisting movement of the patella allows the stifle to "lock" in extension when the medial portion of the tendon is "hooked" over the bulbous medial trochlear ridge of the distal femur. This locking mechanism enables these animals to sleep while standing up.


  1. stifle

    To stifle is to restrain, curb or suppress something. This could refer to holding back an action, emotion, development, or expression. It can also mean to suffocate or struggle for breath. The term can be used in a variety of contexts, whether physical, emotional or metaphorical.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Stiflenoun

    the joint next above the hock, and near the flank, in the hind leg of the horse and allied animals; the joint corresponding to the knee in man; -- called also stifle joint. See Illust. under Horse

  2. Stifleverb

    to stop the breath of by crowding something into the windpipe, or introducing an irrespirable substance into the lungs; to choke; to suffocate; to cause the death of by such means; as, to stifle one with smoke or dust

  3. Stifleverb

    to stop; to extinguish; to deaden; to quench; as, to stifle the breath; to stifle a fire or flame

  4. Stifleverb

    to suppress the manifestation or report of; to smother; to conceal from public knowledge; as, to stifle a story; to stifle passion

  5. Stifleverb

    to die by reason of obstruction of the breath, or because some noxious substance prevents respiration

  6. Etymology: [From Stiff.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Stifle

    stī′fl, v.t. to stop the breath of by foul air or other means: to suffocate, smother: to extinguish: to suppress the sound of: to destroy: to suppress, conceal.—v.i. to suffocate.—adj. Stī′fling, close, oppressive. [Scand., Ice. stífla, to choke up; Norw. stivla.]

  2. Stifle

    stī′fl, n. the knee-joint on a horse's hind-leg, a disease of his knee-pan. [Perh. stiff.]

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Stifle

    In horses, cattle, and other quadrupeds, the joint between the femur and the tibia, corresponding to the human knee.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Stifle is ranked #131379 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Stifle surname appeared 129 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Stifle.

    96.9% or 125 total occurrences were White.

Matched Categories

Anagrams for stifle »

  1. filets

  2. fliest

  3. itself

How to pronounce stifle?

How to say stifle in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of stifle in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of stifle in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of stifle in a Sentence

  1. Chamber President Joerg Wuttke:

    These worrying trends illustrate how excessive tightening of Internet controls can choke business growth and stifle investment in technology and research and development, it is therefore hugely dispiriting to see numerous member companies actively scaling back investment and expansion, and diverting their spending to other markets.

  2. William O. Douglas:

    One aspect of modern life which has gone far to stifle men is the rapid growth of tremendous corporations. Enormous spiritual sacrifices are made in the transformation of shopkeepers into employees. The disappearance of free enterprise has led to a submergence of the individual in the impersonal corporation in much the same manner as he has been submerged in the state in other lands.

  3. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu:

    We are educated in the grossest ignorance, and no art omitted to stifle our natural reason; if some few get above their nurses instructions, our knowledge must rest concealed and be as useless to the world as gold in the mine.

  4. Peter Tuz:

    The fear is that price controls stifle innovation. It hasn't happened yet, they'll have to sharpen their pencils and recalculate what their outlook is for new drugs and whether they're worth still developing.

  5. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz:

    Which has greater innovation: the United States Post Office, or Facebook and Twitter? Which has greater innovation: Taxi commissions in local cities, or Lyft and Uber? Every time you put unelected bureaucrats in charge of the market, they stifle innovation.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for stifle

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • خنقArabic
  • dusit, udusit, udusit se, potlačitCzech
  • unterdrücken, ersticken, unterbrechen, erdrückenGerman
  • sofocar, reprimirSpanish
  • tukahduttaa, vaimentaa, katkaista, tukehduttaa, tukahtua, keskeyttää, takapolvi, polvi, tukehtuaFinnish
  • interrompre, réprimer, couperFrench
  • elfojt, megfulladHungarian
  • soffocare, trattenere, affogare, interrompere, celare, boccheggiare, tagliare, reprimere, ricoprire, asfissiare, grassellaItalian
  • 噛み殺す, 抑える, 消す, 静める, 遮る, 窒息, 抑圧, もみ消すJapanese
  • បង្អាក់, រារាំងKhmer
  • whakakōmau, nati, nanatiMāori
  • onderdrukken, afbreken, stikken, onderbrekenDutch
  • душить, прервать, задыхаться, подавить, задохнуться, прерывать, подавлять, задушитьRussian
  • tutmak, bastırmak, boğulmakTurkish
  • chết ngộpVietnamese

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"stifle." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 1 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/stifle>.

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    a widespread outbreak of an infectious disease
    • A. soft-witted
    • B. butch
    • C. epidemic
    • D. eloquent

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