What does suffocate mean?

Definitions for suffocate
ˈsʌf əˌkeɪtsuf·fo·cate

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word suffocate.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. smother, asphyxiate, suffocateverb

    deprive of oxygen and prevent from breathing

    "Othello smothered Desdemona with a pillow"; "The child suffocated herself with a plastic bag that the parents had left on the floor"

  2. suffocate, stifle, asphyxiate, chokeverb

    impair the respiration of or obstruct the air passage of

    "The foul air was slowly suffocating the children"

  3. suffocate, chokeverb

    become stultified, suppressed, or stifled

    "He is suffocating--living at home with his aged parents in the small village"

  4. suffocate, chokeverb

    suppress the development, creativity, or imagination of

    "His job suffocated him"

  5. suffocate, stifle, asphyxiateverb

    be asphyxiated; die from lack of oxygen

    "The child suffocated under the pillow"

  6. suffocateverb

    feel uncomfortable for lack of fresh air

    "The room was hot and stuffy and we were suffocating"

  7. gag, choke, strangle, suffocateverb

    struggle for breath; have insufficient oxygen intake

    "he swallowed a fishbone and gagged"


  1. suffocateverb

    To suffer, or cause someone to suffer, from severely reduced oxygen intake to the body.

    Open the hatch, he is suffocating in the airlock!

  2. suffocateverb

    To die due to, or kill someone by means of, insufficient oxygen supply to the body.

    He suffocated his wife by holding a pillow over her head.

  3. suffocateverb

    To overwhelm, or be overwhelmed (by a person or issue), as though with oxygen deprivation.

    I'm suffocating under this huge workload.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Suffocateadjective

    suffocated; choked

    Etymology: [L. suffocatus, p. p. of suffocare to choke; sub under + fauces the throat. Cf. Faucal.]

  2. Suffocateverb

    to choke or kill by stopping respiration; to stifle; to smother

    Etymology: [L. suffocatus, p. p. of suffocare to choke; sub under + fauces the throat. Cf. Faucal.]

  3. Suffocateverb

    to destroy; to extinguish; as, to suffocate fire

    Etymology: [L. suffocatus, p. p. of suffocare to choke; sub under + fauces the throat. Cf. Faucal.]

  4. Suffocateverb

    to become choked, stifled, or smothered

    Etymology: [L. suffocatus, p. p. of suffocare to choke; sub under + fauces the throat. Cf. Faucal.]


  1. Suffocate

    "Suffocate" is a track by UK rock band Feeder re-recorded from their 1997 album Polythene, and was released as an in-between single to bridge the gap between the then-current album, and its follow-up Yesterday Went Too Soon. Feeder would later repeat this in-between single process building up to a following album, with "Just a Day" in 2001 and "Shatter" / "Tender" in 2005. The single reached the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number 37. The version of "Suffocate" released as a single is a full-band version of the acoustic track from the "Polythene" album, with slightly amended lyrics. The song began life in 1994 as part of the band's demo under the name "Give". At that time the band were called "Real". At the time of its single release, Grant Nicholas said that he wanted to revisit the song. Frontman Grant also once said that "Give" was the song that secured the band's record deal, which in turn was one of the reasons for its inclusion on The Singles.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Suffocate

    suf′ō-kāt, v.t. to choke by stopping the breath: to stifle:—pa.p. suff′ocāted.p.adj. (Shak.) suffocated.—p.adj. Suff′ocāting, choking.—adv. Suff′ocātingly.—n. Suffocā′tion, act of suffocating: state of being suffocated.—adj. Suff′ocātive, tending to suffocate. [L. suffocāre, -ātumsub, under, fauces, the throat.]

Matched Categories

How to pronounce suffocate?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say suffocate in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of suffocate in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of suffocate in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of suffocate in a Sentence

  1. Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel:

    Even in the eye of the hurricane of adversity that the enemy conceived to suffocate us, the Cuban economy can grow slightly, thanks to the fact that we have the potential to resist and continue advancing in our development.

  2. Viktor Orban:

    We are either going to be successful together, or not at all, we are going to expand the country or we will all suffocate in petty, provincial shoving.

  3. Michael Grandner:

    A lot of people think sleep apnea will cause them to suffocate, but it won't, you're still getting enough air to breathe --and if not, your brain will wake you up.

  4. June Jordan:

    Our children will not survive our habits of thinking, our failures of the spirit, our wreck of the universe into which we bring new life as blithely as we do. Mostly, our children will resemble our own misery and spite and anger, because we give them no choice about it. In the name of motherhood and fatherhood and education and good manners, we threaten and suffocate and bind and ensnare and bribe and trick children into wholesale emulation of our ways.

  5. Marjan Ghadrdan:

    Animals put their heads in the bags and they can't get them off and suffocate, i always cut my potato chip bags so they're not like a little pocket and they can't get their heads inside. AWARE Wildlife Center's mission.

Images & Illustrations of suffocate

  1. suffocatesuffocatesuffocatesuffocatesuffocate

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Translations for suffocate

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    pose a threat to; present a danger to
    • A. embark
    • B. jeopardize
    • C. observe
    • D. conform

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