asphyxiate

To asphyxiate is to keep someone from breathing — to suffocate or smother them. Choking on a piece of food can asphyxiate a person.

Your body needs to breathe oxygen in order to function, and when it's deprived of oxygen that's called asphyxia or asphyxiation. If a person stops being able to breathe, you can also say they asphyxiate. The origin of this verb is asphyxia, "stopping of the pulse," in Greek, which originally had the same meaning in English, before it came to mean "suffocation."

Definitions of asphyxiate
1

v deprive of oxygen and prevent from breathing

Synonyms:
smother, suffocate
stifle, suffocate
be asphyxiated; die from lack of oxygen
Type of:
kill
cause to die; put to death, usually intentionally or knowingly

v impair the respiration of or obstruct the air passage of

Synonyms:
choke, stifle, suffocate
Type of:
block, close up, impede, jam, obstruct, obturate, occlude
block passage through

v be asphyxiated; die from lack of oxygen

Synonyms:
stifle, suffocate
smother, suffocate
deprive of oxygen and prevent from breathing
Types:
strangle
die from strangulation
Type of:
buy the farm, cash in one's chips, choke, conk, croak, decease, die, drop dead, exit, expire, give-up the ghost, go, kick the bucket, pass, pass away, perish, pop off, snuff it
pass from physical life and lose all bodily attributes and functions necessary to sustain life

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