• WordNet 3.6
    • v stifle be asphyxiated; die from lack of oxygen "The child suffocated under the pillow"
    • v stifle smother or suppress "Stifle your curiosity"
    • v stifle impair the respiration of or obstruct the air passage of "The foul air was slowly suffocating the children"
    • v stifle conceal or hide "smother a yawn","muffle one's anger","strangle a yawn"
    • n stifle joint between the femur and tibia in a quadruped; corresponds to the human knee
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Stifle (Far) 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.
    • v. i Stifle To die by reason of obstruction of the breath, or because some noxious substance prevents respiration. "You shall stifle in your own report."
    • Stifle 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. "Stifled with kisses, a sweet death he dies.""I took my leave, being half stifled with the closeness of the room."
    • Stifle To stop; to extinguish; to deaden; to quench; as, to stifle the breath; to stifle a fire or flame. "Bodies . . . stifle in themselves the rays which they do not reflect or transmit."
    • Stifle To suppress the manifestation or report of; to smother; to conceal from public knowledge; as, to stifle a story; to stifle passion. "I desire only to have things fairly represented as they really are; no evidence smothered or stifled ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • stifle To choke up; dam up; close.
    • stifle To kill by impeding respiration, as by covering the mouth and nose, by introducing an irrespirable substance into the lungs, or by other means; suffocate or greatly oppress by foul air or otherwise; smother.
    • stifle To stop the passage of; arrest the free action of; extinguish; deaden; quench: as, to stifle flame; to stifle sound.
    • stifle To suppress; keep from active manifestation; keep from public notice; conceal; repress; destroy: as, to stifle inquiry; to stifle a report; to stifle passion; to stifle convictions.
    • stifle Synonyms Suffocate, Strangle, etc. See smother.
    • stifle To husn, muffle, muzzle, gag.
    • stifle To suffocate; perish by asphyxia.
    • n stifle The stifle-joint.
    • n stifle Disease or other affection of the stifle-bone or stifle-joint, as dislocation or fracture of the patella.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Stifle stī′fl 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 Stifle to suffocate
    • n Stifle stī′fl the knee-joint on a horse's hind-leg, a disease of his knee-pan.
    • ***


  • Germaine De Stael
    Germaine De Stael
    “The voice of conscience is so delicate that it is easy to stifle it; but it is also so clear that it is impossible to mistake it.”
  • John Stuart Mill
    “We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and even if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.”
  • Flannery O'Connor
    Flannery O'Connor
    “Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Freq. of OE. stif, stiff; cf. Icel. stīfla, to dam up
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Perh. stiff.


In literature:

A stifled exclamation made me look round.
"Berry And Co." by Dornford Yates
Even poor old Plummer gave a half-stifled cry.
"Foes in Ambush" by Charles King
She felt stifled by the atmosphere, and she recovered as soon as she got home.
"Great Possessions" by Mrs. Wilfrid Ward
One afternoon when a scorching wind seemed to stifle the countryside with its breath, Josephina capitulated.
"Woman Triumphant" by Vicente Blasco Ibañez
And yet she couldn't stifle that impulse.
"Then I'll Come Back to You" by Larry Evans
I felt stifled in the carriage.
"The Vicomte de Bragelonne" by Alexandre Dumas
It was the sound of a stifled sob, and the mother looked up anxiously.
"The Triumph of John Kars" by Ridgwell Cullum
He saw her plight, and hooking his hand in her arm took her behind the tent, where she burst into furious words and a gush of stifled weeping.
"The Emigrant Trail" by Geraldine Bonner
A stifled gasp she uttered, and he lifted her into the room.
"The Devil Doctor" by Sax Rohmer
He was not outside; he was stifling in the dark room.
"Joyce of the North Woods" by Harriet T. Comstock

In poetry:

Although he trod on it, indeed,
To save his very soul
From stifling in the thoughts of me
Its sweetness might enroll.
"A Woman's Mood" by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward
The wold and the fertile farmlands
Lie under a stifling haze,
And the cattle are winding slowly
Home by the well-known ways.
"Calm Before Storm" by Cicely Fox Smith
And not a breeze came, east or west,
And burning was the sky,
And stifling was each breath we drew
Of the air so hot and dry.
"The Old Man's Story" by Mary Botham Howitt
III. Suspense in all its torturing forms I've known,
And many a tender, many an anxious fear;
And on my lip has died the stifled groan,
And in mine eye has swam the silent tear .
"Apathy" by Sydney Owenson
'Tis so—That stifled sigh the truth betrays;
And sure (if right I guess ) the conscious Muse
Has caught, with happy art, each varying grace,
Each charm which decks the Fair thy hope pursues.
"To The Author's Brother. On the choice of a Wife in the Year 1789" by Maria Logan
Give our tears to the dead! For humanity's claim
From its silence and darkness is ever the same;
The hope of that world whose existence is bliss
May not stifle the tears of the mourners of this.
"A Lament" by John Greenleaf Whittier

In news:

Controls stifling us, execs declare.
According to local poet Kris Bigalk, there's no risk of droning poets , stiflingly warm rooms or excessive sleepiness at The Maeve's Sessions, at Maeve's Cafe in Minneapolis.
Is Redmond stifling competition or helping to correct an overpriced sector.
Practices have been grueling, the heat stifling.
(AP) — Rookie Jayron Hosley returned an interception of Mark Sanchez 77 yards for a touchdown, and the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants stifled the New York Jets in a 26-3 preseason victory on Saturday night.
Sports Football Trojans will attempt to stifle prolific Oregon offense.
The assertion merits just a brief mention in a lengthy article about the Iranian government's preparations to stifle opposition protests Thursday.
Stockton's D stifles turnover-prone Le-Win.
Moore each collected turnovers to stifle potential second-half touchdown drives, and the Chicago Bears beat the Detroit Lions, 13-7, in Chicago on Monday night.
Red Tape Is Stifling Job Creation.
Sabers stifle Holy Redeemer .
A stifling spring or early summer afternoon draws on toward evening.
Scorching heat, dry conditions stifle July 4 celebrations.
Undefeated Florida Gators' defense stifles FSU in 72-47 romp.
Seahawks' Wilson engineers two fourth-quarter TD drives after defense stifles Brady's Patriots.

In science:

The threshold also may be too high to warrant a broadcast, stifling opportunities to share content.
Content Sharing for Mobile Devices