Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Origin: achoke 'to choke' (11-14 centuries), from Old English aceocian

choke

1 verb
     
choke1
1 [intransitive] to be unable to breathe properly because something is in your throat or there is not enough air
choke on
He choked on a piece of bread.
Six people choked to death on the fumes.
2 [transitive] if something chokes you, it makes you unable to breathe properly:
I felt as if there was a weight on my chest, choking me.
The smoke was choking me.
3 [transitive] to prevent someone from breathing by putting your hands around their throat and pressing on it:
His hands were round her throat, choking her.
4 [intransitive and transitive] to be unable to talk clearly because you are feeling a strong emotion
choke with
He was choking with rage.
I was too choked with emotion to speak.
Her voice was choked with rage.
5 [transitive] also choke something ↔ out to say something with difficulty because you are very upset or angry:
'Get out,' she choked.
6 [ transitive] also choke something ↔ up to fill a place so that things cannot move through it:
Weeds were choking the stream.
be choked (up) with something
The gutters were choked up with leaves.
7 [intransitive] informal to fail at doing something, especially a sport, because there is a lot of pressure on you:
People said I choked, but I just had a bad day on the golf course.
8 [transitive]HBP if one plant chokes another, it kills it by growing all around it and taking away its light and room to grow:
Weeds can quickly choke delicate garden plants.
9

choke a horse

American English spoken if you say that something is big enough to choke a horse, you are emphasizing that it is very big:
a wad of bills big enough to choke a horse

choke something ↔ back

phrasal verb
to control your anger, sadness etc so that you do not show it:
He choked back tears as he described what had happened.
She choked back a sob.
I choked back my anger.

choke off something

phrasal verb
to prevent something from happening:
It is feared that higher interest rates might choke off economic recovery.

choke something ↔ out

phrasal verb
to say something with difficulty because you are very upset or angry:
His heart hammered as he choked out the words.
'No!' she choked out.

choke up

phrasal verb
1

choke something ↔ up

to fill a place so that things cannot move through it
be choked up with something
The stream was choked up with weeds.
2

choke somebody up

to make someone feel very upset and unable to talk:
This song really chokes me up.
I was really choked up when I saw her again.
WORD FOCUS: breathe WORD FOCUS: breathe
to breathe in: inhale formal

to breathe out: exhale formal

to breathe noisily: sniff, snore (when sleeping)
snort
, sigh

to breathe with difficulty: gasp, pant, wheeze, be short of breath, be out of breath

to be unable to breathe: choke, suffocate
breathe

See also
breathe

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