stifling

Something stifling makes you feel suffocated. If your mother insists on accompanying you on your first date, that will probably feel stifling.

Stifle comes from the Middle English word stuffle, which means to kill by cutting off air. A really hot movie theater is stifling, as is an environment where you never get any space to yourself. This word can also be used as a noun to refer to the act of repressing or shutting something down, such as a dictator's stifling of popular protests. Either way, if something is stifling, it's preventing something else from living freely and fully.

Primary Meanings of stifling

1.
adj
characterized by oppressive heat and humidity
2.
n
forceful prevention; putting down by power or authority
Full Definitions of stifling
1

adj characterized by oppressive heat and humidity

“the stifling atmosphere”
Synonyms:
sulfurous, sulphurous, sultry
hot
used of physical heat; having a high or higher than desirable temperature or giving off heat or feeling or causing a sensation of heat or burning
2

n forceful prevention; putting down by power or authority

“the stifling of all dissent”
Synonyms:
crushing, quelling, suppression
Types:
crackdown
severely repressive actions
Type of:
bar, prevention
the act of preventing

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