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choke, ventilate, air, oxygenate


Dominance and Dissent, Damage and Destruction, Gloom and Unpleasantness, Violence and Aggression



How to pronounce suffocate (audio)


Dictionary definition of suffocate

To deprive someone or something of the ability to breathe, resulting in asphyxiation or the restriction of airflow.
"Do not suffocate your dreams by nurturing self-doubt."

Detailed meaning of suffocate

It involves the suppression of oxygen intake, leading to a lack of oxygen in the body and subsequent suffocation. The process of suffocation can occur through various means, such as the obstruction of airways, covering the nose and mouth, or being trapped in an environment with limited oxygen supply. Suffocation can have severe consequences, including loss of consciousness, organ damage, and, in extreme cases, death. The verb "suffocate" can also be used metaphorically to describe situations or circumstances that create a feeling of being overwhelmed, suppressed, or stifled. For example, one may feel suffocated by restrictive social norms, oppressive environments, or excessive responsibilities. Overall, suffocation represents a critical condition where the vital function of breathing is impeded, emphasizing the significance of fresh air and the necessity for unobstructed respiration for survival and well-being.

Example sentences containing suffocate

1. You must not suffocate your plants by over-watering them.
2. People can suffocate in a room with no ventilation.
3. In dense smoke, individuals might suffocate within minutes.
4. Don't cover the baby's face with a blanket; it could suffocate.
5. Fish out of water will inevitably suffocate.
6. Excessive control can suffocate creativity.

History and etymology of suffocate

The verb 'suffocate' has its origins in the Latin word 'suffocare,' which is a combination of 'sub,' meaning 'under,' and 'focare,' derived from 'focus,' meaning 'fire' or 'hearth.' The etymology of 'suffocate' subtly reflects the idea of depriving someone or something of the ability to breathe, as if being overwhelmed or consumed by something akin to the way fire consumes oxygen. It implies the restriction of airflow, leading to asphyxiation or the inability to breathe. This etymological connection suggests the severity of the act without directly addressing its specific definition.

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Further usage examples of suffocate

1. If you pile too much onto the fire, it could suffocate and go out.
2. Certain species of snakes can suffocate their prey by constriction.
3. He feared he would suffocate if he stayed any longer in the confined space.
4. Too much regulation can suffocate innovation in business.
5. She found the city life suffocating and longed for fresh air.
6. Pollution can suffocate the natural beauty of a city.
7. Will the seedlings suffocate if I plant them too closely together?
8. Overbearing parents can unintentionally suffocate their children's sense of independence.
9. The tight collar seemed like it might suffocate him if he didn't loosen it soon.
10. Plastic bags are dangerous for young children as they can suffocate if they play with them irresponsibly.
11. A healthy relationship requires freedom; too much possessiveness can suffocate it.
12. In order to survive, humans and animals must not suffocate but breathe freely.
13. He wore his mask so tightly that he feared he might suffocate.
14. Dense smog can suffocate those without masks swiftly.
15. Fumes from the leak suffocate anyone in proximity.
16. To sleep facedown might suffocate an infant silently.
17. Thick plastic bags suffocate wildlife, a dire issue.
18. Tight spaces with no air suffocate quickly, beware.
19. Overwatering the plants will suffocate their roots badly.
20. Heavy smoke may suffocate victims in fires rapidly.
21. She felt the pillow could suffocate her if pressed.
22. Locked trunks suffocate, posing lethal confinement risk.
23. Vines, overgrown, can suffocate nearby frail blooms.
24. Mountains of trash suffocate our earth, seeking change.

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