|Origin:||, past participle of suffocare, from sub- ( SUB-) + fauces 'throat'|
1 [intransitive and transitive]
to die or make someone die by preventing them from breathing:
The animal seizes its prey by the throat and suffocates it to death.
One of the puppies suffocated inside the plastic bag.
to feel uncomfortable because there is not enough fresh air:
Can you open a window? I'm suffocating.
to prevent a relationship, plan, business etc from developing well or being successful:
Jealousy can suffocate any relationship.
—suffocation noun [uncountable]WORD FOCUS: breathe
to breathe in: inhale formal
to breathe out: exhale formal
to breathe noisily: sniff, snore (when sleeping)
to breathe with difficulty: gasp, pant, wheeze, be short of breath, be out of breath
to be unable to breathe: choke, suffocatebreathe
➔ See also breathe