suffocate

When you suffocate, you struggle for breath, either because you’re being choked to death or because you’re in a stifling room. You can also suffocate in a figurative sense anytime something is restricted.

Suffocate can also mean to die from lack of oxygen. If you’re a miner who gets trapped in a collapsed mine, you'll likely suffocate. Less seriously, if the ventilation system is turned off in your school, you might feel as though you'll suffocate. And if your art teacher insists that you produce Dadaist paintings, you may feel that she's trying to suffocate your talent.

Definitions of suffocate
  1. verb
    deprive of oxygen and prevent from breathing
    synonyms: asphyxiate, smother
    asphyxiate, stifle
    be asphyxiated; die from lack of oxygen
    see moresee less
    type of:
    kill
    cause to die; put to death, usually intentionally or knowingly
  2. verb
    impair the respiration of or obstruct the air passage of
    synonyms: asphyxiate, choke, stifle
    see moresee less
    type of:
    block, close up, impede, jam, obstruct, obturate, occlude
    block passage through
  3. verb
    struggle for breath; have insufficient oxygen intake
    synonyms: choke, gag, strangle
    see moresee less
    type of:
    hurt, suffer
    feel pain or be in pain
  4. verb
    be asphyxiated; die from lack of oxygen
    synonyms: asphyxiate, stifle
    asphyxiate, smother
    deprive of oxygen and prevent from breathing
    see moresee less
    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
  5. verb
    feel uncomfortable for lack of fresh air
    “The room was hot and stuffy and we were suffocating
    see moresee less
    type of:
    feel
    be conscious of a physical, mental, or emotional state
  6. verb
    suppress the development, creativity, or imagination of
    “His job suffocated him”
    synonyms: choke
    choke
    become stultified, suppressed, or stifled
    see moresee less
    type of:
    dampen, stifle
    smother or suppress
  7. verb
    become stultified, suppressed, or stifled
    “He is suffocating--living at home with his aged parents in the small village”
    synonyms: choke
    choke
    suppress the development, creativity, or imagination of
    see moresee less
    type of:
    become, turn
    undergo a change or development
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