choking [choh-king] SynonymsExamplesWord Origin See more synonyms for choking on adjective

  1. (of the voice) husky and strained, especially because of emotion.
  2. causing the feeling of being choked: a choking cloud of smoke.

Origin of choking choke + -ing2 Related formschok·ing·ly, adverb choke [chohk] verb (used with object), choked, chok·ing.

  1. to stop the breath of by squeezing or obstructing the windpipe; strangle; stifle.
  2. to stop by or as if by strangling or stifling: The sudden wind choked his words.
  3. to stop by filling; obstruct; clog: Grease choked the drain.
  4. to suppress (a feeling, emotion, etc.) (often followed by back or down): I managed to choke back my tears.
  5. to fill chock-full: The storeroom was choked with furniture.
  6. to seize (a log, felled tree, etc.) with a chain, cable, or the like, so as to facilitate removal.
  7. to enrich the fuel mixture of (an internal-combustion engine) by diminishing the air supply to the carburetor.
  8. Sports. to grip (a bat, racket, or the like) farther than usual from the end of the handle; shorten one’s grip on (often followed by up).

verb (used without object), choked, chok·ing.

  1. to suffer from or as from strangling or suffocating: He choked on a piece of food.
  2. to become obstructed, clogged, or otherwise stopped: The words choked in her throat.


  1. the act or sound of choking.
  2. a mechanism by which the air supply to the carburetor of an internal-combustion engine can be diminished or stopped.
  3. Machinery. any mechanism that, by blocking a passage, regulates the flow of air, gas, etc.
  4. Electricity. choke coil.
  5. a narrowed part, as in a chokebore.
  6. the bristly upper portion of the receptacle of the artichoke.

Verb Phrases

  1. choke off, to stop or obstruct by or as by choking: to choke off a nation’s fuel supply.
  2. choke up,
    1. to become or cause to become speechless, as from the effect of emotion or stress: She choked up over the sadness of the tale.
    2. to become too tense or nervous to perform well: Our team began to choke up in the last inning.

Origin of choke 1150–1200; Middle English choken, cheken, variant of achoken, acheken, Old English ācēocian to suffocate; akin to Old Norse kōk gulletRelated formschoke·a·ble, adjectivein·ter·choke, verb (used with object), in·ter·choked, in·ter·chok·ing.un·choke·a·ble, adjectiveun·choked, adjectiveSynonyms for choke See more synonyms for on 3. block, dam, plug. Related Words for choking clog, congest, drown, suffocate, kill, gag, gasp, strangle, stifle, fill, obstruct, close, check, overpower, suppress, noose, occlude, asphyxiate, dam, stop Examples from the Web for choking Contemporary Examples of choking

  • We see a system that will indict a 20-year-old for selling crack but not a police officer for choking the life out of a citizen.

    Bobby Shmurda and Rap’s Ultimate Hoop Dream

    Rawiya Kameir

    December 23, 2014

  • Another video that went viral showed Blanc choking women in Tokyo.

    ‘Pick-Up Artist’ to Be Banned from UK

    Tom Sykes

    November 19, 2014

  • “Raising the Turkish flag was very healing for me, and I think a little for Turkey as well,” says Hayes, choking up a bit.

    The Unbelievable (True) Story of the World’s Most Infamous Hash Smuggler

    Marlow Stern

    November 14, 2014

  • Parkes managed to gasp through the choking, “Is there something wrong with the money?”

    Inside London’s Wild Brixton Academy: How Gangsters and Kurt Cobain Made It London’s Top Music Venue

    Tom Sykes

    September 29, 2014

  • “His language in the hearing” to describe the choking “was that it was a ‘gentle caress,’” Sclove remembered.

    Is Sex Assault a Crime in the Ivy League?

    Olivia Nuzzi

    May 10, 2014

  • Historical Examples of choking

  • But I could not speak; I could only gape, choking and giddy.

    The Bacillus of Beauty

    Harriet Stark

  • How long do you suppose, sir, that an hour is to a man who is choking for want of air?’

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • He tried to loosen his neck-band; it seemed to be choking him.

    The Gentleman From Indiana

    Booth Tarkington

  • (aside to her son) Choking the cratur is with the words he can’t get out.

    Tales And Novels, Volume 8 (of 10)

    Maria Edgeworth

  • Choking, he managed with numbed fingers to screw his helmet on.

    Pirates of the Gorm

    Nat Schachner

  • British Dictionary definitions for choking choke verb

    1. (tr) to hinder or stop the breathing of (a person or animal), esp by constricting the windpipe or by asphyxiation
    2. (intr) to have trouble or fail in breathing, swallowing, or speaking
    3. (tr) to block or clog up (a passage, pipe, street, etc)
    4. (tr) to retard the growth or action ofthe weeds are choking my plants
    5. (tr) to suppress (emotion)she choked her anger
    6. (intr) slang to die
    7. (tr) to enrich the petrol-air mixture by reducing the air supply to (a carburettor, petrol engine, etc)
    8. (intr) (esp in sport) to be seized with tension and fail to perform well


    1. the act or sound of choking
    2. a device in the carburettor of a petrol engine that enriches the petrol-air mixture by reducing the air supply
    3. any constriction or mechanism for reducing the flow of a fluid in a pipe, tube, etc
    4. Also called: choke coil electronics an inductor having a relatively high impedance, used to prevent the passage of high frequencies or to smooth the output of a rectifier
    5. the inedible centre of the head of an artichoke

    See also choke back, choke up Derived Formschokeable, adjectiveWord Origin for choke Old English ācēocian, of Germanic origin; related to cheek Word Origin and History for choking choke v.

    c.1300, transitive, “to strangle;” late 14c., “to make to suffocate,” of persons as well as swallowed objects, a shortening of acheken (c.1200), from Old English aceocian “to choke, suffocate” (with intensive a-), probably from root of ceoke “jaw, cheek” (see cheek (n.)).

    Intransitive sense from c.1400. Meaning “gasp for breath” is from early 15c. Figurative use from c.1400, in early use often with reference to weeds stifling the growth of useful plants (a Biblical image). Meaning “to fail in the clutch” is attested by 1976, American English. Related: Choked; choking. Choke-cherry (1785) supposedly so called for its astringent qualities. Johnson also has choke-pear “Any aspersion or sarcasm, by which another person is put to silence.” Choked up “overcome with emotion and unable to speak” is attested by 1896. The baseball batting sense is by 1907.

    choke n.

    1560s, “quinsy,” from choke (v.). Meaning “action of choking” is from 1839. Meaning “valve which controls air to a carburetor” first recorded 1926.

    choking in Medicine choke [chōk] v.

    1. To interfere with the respiration of by compression or obstruction of the larynx or trachea.
    2. To have difficulty in breathing, swallowing, or speaking.
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