from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A valve that regulates the flow of a fluid, such as the valve in an internal-combustion engine that controls the amount of vaporized fuel entering the cylinders.
  • n. A lever or pedal controlling such a valve.
  • transitive v. To regulate the flow of (fuel) in an engine.
  • transitive v. To regulate the speed of (an engine) with a throttle.
  • transitive v. To suppress: tried to throttle the press.
  • transitive v. To strangle; choke.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A valve that regulates the supply of fuel-air mixture to an internal combustion engine and thus controls its speed; a similar valve that controls the air supply to an engine.
  • n. The lever or pedal that controls this valve.
  • v. To cut back on the speed of (an engine, person, organization, network connection, etc.).
  • v. To strangle or choke someone.
  • v. To have the throat obstructed so as to be in danger of suffocation; to choke; to suffocate.
  • v. To breathe hard, as when nearly suffocated.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The windpipe, or trachea; the weasand.
  • n. The throttle valve.
  • intransitive v. To have the throat obstructed so as to be in danger of suffocation; to choke; to suffocate.
  • intransitive v. To breathe hard, as when nearly suffocated.
  • transitive v. To compress the throat of; to choke; to strangle.
  • transitive v. To utter with breaks and interruption, in the manner of a person half suffocated.
  • transitive v. To shut off, or reduce flow of, as steam to an engine.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In electricity, to reduce (the flux in a magnetic circuit) by diminishing the cross-section of the iron traversed by the lines of force, or by the introduction of joints or air-gaps.
  • To choke; suffocate; have the throat obstructed so as to be in danger of suffocation.
  • To breathe hard, as when nearly suffocated.
  • To choke; suffocate; stop the breath of by compressing the throat; strangle.
  • To pronounce with a choking voice; utter with breaks and interruptions, like a person half suffocated.
  • To obstruct by a throttle-valve or otherwise: said of steam, a steam-pipe, or a steam-engine.
  • Synonyms Strangle, etc. See smother.
  • n. The throat.
  • n. The windpipe or thropple: same as throat, 2 .
  • n. A throttle-valve.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. place limits on (extent or access)
  • n. a valve that regulates the supply of fuel to the engine
  • n. a pedal that controls the throttle valve
  • v. kill by squeezing the throat of so as to cut off the air
  • v. reduce the air supply


Short for throttle valve, from throttle, to strangle, choke, from Middle English throtelen, probably from throte, throat; see throat.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English *throtel, diminutive of throte ("throat"), equivalent to throat +‎ -le. Compare German Drossel ("throttle"). More at throat. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English throtlen ("to choke, strangle, suffocate"), from the noun (see above). Compare German erdrosseln ("to strangle, choke, throttle"). (Wiktionary)


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  • I thought that I might go faster by not giving the motor the full throttle because the more the throttle is extended, the more wheel spin one gets and I came back with what must have been a three quarter opening of the throttle and the speed on the return journey was only two miles an hours less than before.

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  • But he says he did have some luck with a device called a throttle-body spacer, which swirled the air and fuel mixture closer to the engine.

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  • The passage-way from the mixing chamber to the intake manifold is controlled by a butterfly valve which is called the throttle-valve and is connected to the throttle-lever on the steering wheel as well as to the foot accelerator, its position determining the amount of gas and air or mixture being fed the engine.

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  • In a moment more I saw I was mistaken, for at the throttle was a uniformed soldier, and another comrade in his gray-green costume was shoveling coal into the furnace.

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  • And while the Ampera never ran out of power, the engine was labouring as we approached the summit and flooring the throttle was the only way to access the dregs of battery power to speed the climb. - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • Toyota says, and they're almost certainly right, that you'd have warning signs beforehand, that the throttle is a bit harder to depress, or doesn't immediately return to idle when you take your foot off the throttle.



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