from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To interrupt or cut off (the voice, for example).
- transitive v. To keep in or hold back; repress: stifled my indignation.
- transitive v. To kill by preventing respiration; smother or suffocate.
- intransitive v. To feel smothered or suffocated by or as if by close confinement in a stuffy room.
- intransitive v. To die of suffocation.
- n. The joint of the hind leg analogous to the human knee in certain quadrupeds, such as the horse.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A hind knee of various mammals, especially horses.
- n. A bone disease of this region.
- v. To interrupt or cut off.
- v. To repress, keep in or hold back.
- v. To smother or suffocate.
- v. To feel smothered etc.
- v. To die of suffocation.
- v. To treat a silkworm cocoon with steam as part of the process of silk production.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The joint next above the hock, and near the flank, in the hind leg of the horse and allied animals; the joint corresponding to the knee in man; -- called also stifle joint. See Illust. under horse.
- transitive v. To stop the breath of by crowding something into the windpipe, or introducing an irrespirable substance into the lungs; to choke; to suffocate; to cause the death of by such means.
- transitive v. To stop; to extinguish; to deaden; to quench.
- transitive v. To suppress the manifestation or report of; to smother; to conceal from public knowledge.
- intransitive v. To die by reason of obstruction of the breath, or because some noxious substance prevents respiration.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To choke up; dam up; close.
- To kill by impeding respiration, as by covering the mouth and nose, by introducing an irrespirable substance into the lungs, or by other means; suffocate or greatly oppress by foul air or otherwise; smother.
- To stop the passage of; arrest the free action of; extinguish; deaden; quench: as, to stifle flame; to stifle sound.
- To suppress; keep from active manifestation; keep from public notice; conceal; repress; destroy: as, to stifle inquiry; to stifle a report; to stifle passion; to stifle convictions.
- Synonyms Suffocate, Strangle, etc. See smother.
- To husn, muffle, muzzle, gag.
- To suffocate; perish by asphyxia.
- n. The stifle-joint.
- n. Disease or other affection of the stifle-bone or stifle-joint, as dislocation or fracture of the patella.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. impair the respiration of or obstruct the air passage of
- n. joint between the femur and tibia in a quadruped; corresponds to the human knee
- v. conceal or hide
- v. smother or suppress
- v. be asphyxiated; die from lack of oxygen
Middle English stifilen, alteration (influenced by Old Norse stīfla, to stop up) of stuffen, stuflen, to stifle, choke, drown, from Old French estoufer, of Germanic origin.
Middle English, possibly from Old French estivel, pipe, leg, tibia, from Latin stīpes, stick.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English stiflen, from Old Norse stífla ("to dam, choke, stop up"), from stífla ("dam"), from Proto-Germanic *stīfilaz, *stīfilan (“prop, pole, support”), from Proto-Indo-European *steip-, *steib- (“stake, picket”). Cognate with Icelandic stífla ("to dam up, jam, block"), Norwegian stivla ("to dam up, choke, stop"), Low German stipel ("support wood"), Eastern Frisian stīpe ("stake, support"). (Wiktionary)