• WordNet 3.6
    • adj stifling characterized by oppressive heat and humidity "the summer was sultry and oppressive","the stifling atmosphere","the sulfurous atmosphere preceding a thunderstorm"
    • n stifling forceful prevention; putting down by power or authority "the suppression of heresy","the quelling of the rebellion","the stifling of all dissent"
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • stifling Close: oppressive; suffocating: as, a stifling atmosphere.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Stifling close, oppressive
    • ***


  • 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.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Scand., Ice. stífla, to choke up; Norw. stivla.


In literature:

What does human life become lived on reeking floors and under stifling roofs like these?
"Robert Elsmere" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
He was stifling, and threw the large window of the room wide open.
"Paris From the "Three Cities"" by Emile Zola
Others, restless with insomnia, turned over and over, stifling their sobs and gazing fixedly into the darkness.
"The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete Lourdes, Rome and Paris" by Emile Zola
Her sobs stifled her.
"The Dream" by Emile Zola
Valentine had sunk upon a chair, stifling with sobs, her limbs trembling.
"Fruitfulness Fecondite" by Emile Zola
In one hand he holds a diminutive Monsieur Thiers and stifles him as if he were a sparrow.
"Paris under the Commune" by John Leighton
Sheriff bade him curtly enough to "keep her going to the s'uth'ard," and then drew away his partner into the stifling little chart-house.
"A Master of Fortune" by Cutcliffe Hyne
Stifled sobs and hollow beatings of the breast were heard.
"The Man Who Laughs" by Victor Hugo
The smoke was blinding and stifling.
"The Young Wireless Operator--As a Fire Patrol" by Lewis E. Theiss
To her amazement, Diana heard a sob, a sound of stifled grief, which struck a sudden chill through her own excitement.
"The Testing of Diana Mallory" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
Within her a wave of health was swelling and stifling her.
"A Love Episode" by Emile Zola
Deep in Elizabeth's being there stirred instincts and yearnings which life had so far stifled in her.
"Lady Merton, Colonist" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
It stifles, as if a noose were being drawn around her neck, tighter and tighter.
"The Death Shot" by Mayne Reid
Neglected by you, I have resolutely stifled the enticing emotions, and respected the plighted faith you outraged.
"Posthumous Works" by Mary Wollstonecraft
From the seventh or eighth month onward the foal may be felt by the hand (palm or knuckles) pressed into the abdomen in front of the left stifle.
"Special Report on Diseases of the Horse" by United States Department of Agriculture
It was dark and close and stiflingly hot.
"The Dop Doctor" by Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
Happy am I now, and proud, that I had the virtue to stifle it.
"The Wild Huntress" by Mayne Reid
Twice she freed her mouth and uttered a stifled cry.
"The Wild Geese" by Stanley John Weyman
It was stiflingly hot, when usually the air possessed a distinct chill.
"The Golden Woman" by Ridgwell Cullum
He got up, stifled a yawn, and held out his hand to Hardy.
"Audrey Craven" by May Sinclair

In poetry:

Full well I know the hour when hope
Sinks dead, and 'round us everywhere
Hangs stifling darkness, and we grope
With hands uplifted in despair.
"Fifty Years (1863-1913)" by James Weldon Johnson
Why would I ever take the road –
It will not bring me to the place
Where air gets stifled in my throat –
The house where my beloved lives.
"The Road" by Nikolai Stepanovich Gumilev
Mirth and song, and untimely music,
May sound up to the starry skies;
Nought of earth can stifle the gnawing
Of that dread worm that never dies.
"A Legend Of Buckingham Village" by Nora Pembroke
Although I once, in ardent fashion,
Implored you long to give me this;
(In hopes to stem, or stifle, passion)
Your hair to touch, your lips to kiss
"Adoration" by Laurence Hope
Sudden the hounds erect their ears,
And sudden cease their moaning howl;
Close press'd to Moy, they mark their fears
By shivering limbs, and stifled growl.
"Glenfinlas; or, Lord Ronald's Coronach" by Sir Walter Scott
His changeless eye on the changeless sea;
The crew around him heard;
But they stifled their breath—with the power of Death,
For their terror could find not a word.
"New Year's Eve" by Ernest Jones

In news:

View full size Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images Carmelo Anthony may be the biggest reason for the Knicks' resurgence, but he's certainly not the only, as the team has used a balanced attack and stifling defense.
Steele stifles East Central in 28-5A showdown.
Shawn Marion stifles Carmelo Anthony in crunchtime, Mavericks exact revenge.
Big plays on offense and a stifling defense have the Bengals leading 24-0 at halftime.
They could have stifled their urge to again vent their hatred of this man and instead join in our national celebration.
Lockout can't stifle 49ers-Cards hostility .
27 UP, 27 DOWN: White Sox pitcher Philip Humber throws 21st perfect game in history to stifle M's, 4-0.
White Sox pitcher Philip Humber throws 21st perfect game in history to stifle M's, 4-0.
Are fears of impending doom stifling investors.
In the vein to entertain but stifled by stodgy silhouettes.
This winter's rising fuel costs could stifle the nation's economic recovery during 2011 if they persist, local observers agreed.
The Government's new comms roster could stifle creativity and cut out smaller agencies, comms figures have warned.
When I step into the obese old woman's apartment in Milwaukie, the smell is overwhelming and the air stifling.
Capuano vote could stifle protest.
Teaching how to stifle reform in Chicago.

In science:

The threshold also may be too high to warrant a broadcast, stifling opportunities to share content.
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