Meaning of STIFLE in English


I. ˈstīfəl noun

also stifle joint

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English stifle

: the joint next above the hock and near the flank in the hind leg of various quadrupeds (as horses and dogs) : the joint corresponding to the knee in man — see horse illustration

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

: to affect with dislocation of the stifle bone or disease in the stifle — usually used in passive

III. ˈstīfəl verb

( stifled ; stifled ; stifling -f(ə)liŋ ; stifles )

Etymology: alteration of Middle English stuflen, stufflen, probably modification of Middle French estouffer to smother, suffocate

transitive verb

1. obsolete : to kill by submersion : drown

threw herself into a deep well, in which she was stifled — William Bosman


a. : to kill by depriving of oxygen : asphyxiate , suffocate

shall I not then be stifled in the vault — Shakespeare

every living thing … must have perished slowly or suddenly, stifled by the mud — Francis Kingdon-Ward


(1) : to blanket or envelop to the point of suffocation : smother

the oppressive air stifled her, and she felt that her breath … was suspended — Ellen Glasgow

(2) archaic : to extinguish (fire) by covering : snuff

travelers, armed with felt carpets, were endeavoring to stifle the flame — William Hazlitt †1893

(3) : to mute by or as if by enveloping or screening : muffle

units can be insulated so they almost entirely stifle noise of operation — Jim Riggs


a. : to cut off (as the voice or breath) : silence

engulfing flames soon stifle their cries

b. archaic : to withhold from circulation : conceal , suppress

the papers he thought of too much value to be stifled, and advised the printing of them — Benjamin Franklin

c. : to withhold from expression : keep in check : repress

not the sort of man to stifle anger — J.E.Macdonnell

d. : to curb or quell by force : inhibit , restrain

stifle free speech by breaking up meetings … and confiscating pamphlets — Zechariah Chafee

a belligerent right to stifle the trade of an enemy — F.L.Paxson

e. archaic : to arrest the flow of : absorb , obstruct

they stop and stifle … the rays which they do not reflect or transmit — Isaac Newton

f. : to act as a deterrent to : deprive of initiative or vitality : discourage , trammel

the mountain barrier stifles the commerce which might develop — P.E.James

economic controls, which have … stifled our economy — A.E.Summerfield

vital art is stifled by culture, which insists that artists … imitate old masters — Clive Bell

intransitive verb

1. : to become suffocated by or as if by lack of oxygen : smother

no need to stifle in a hot kitchen this summer — Better Homes & Gardens

my unsoiled name … will so your accusations overweigh, that you shall stifle in your own report — Shakespeare

2. : to undergo repression or restraint

why should I stifle in a convent — P.B.Kyne

Synonyms: see suffocate

IV. noun

( -s )

: a suffocating atmosphere

the stifle of the subway — Everybody's Magazine

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.