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choke - definition and synonyms

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verb     choke pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlechoking
past tensechoked
past participlechoked
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive]Sound effect if you choke, or if something chokes you, you cannot breathe because there is not enough air or because something is blocking your throat

    Joe took a bite of the steak and started to choke.

    choke on:

    Ruth almost choked on a mouthful of cake.

    choke to death:

    The four-year-old choked to death after swallowing a coin.

    choking smoke/fumes/smog:

    There was a choking smog in Los Angeles yesterday.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to squeeze someone’s neck so they cannot breathe

    Charlie wanted to take Herrick by the throat and choke him to death.

  3. 3



    choke up

    [transitive] to fill a place so that it is difficult to move
    choke with:

    We live in cities that are choked with traffic.

  4. 4
    [intransitive] if your voice chokes, you cannot speak clearly, usually because of a strong emotion or because you are laughing
    choke with:

    Her voice choked with emotion when she spoke of the sister she had lost.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to say something in a strange voice and with difficulty because you are frightened, angry, sad, etc.

      “I don’t want to be your secretary!” she choked.

  5. 5
    [intransitive] informal to fail to achieve something, especially because you lose confidence

    Jordan seemed to choke and missed three easy shots.

  6. 6
    [transitive] if stronger plants choke weaker ones, they surround them and stop them from growing

    The weeds quickly choke less robust plants.

  7. 7



    choke off

    [transitive] to stop someone or something from developing or being successful

    If prices are too high, demand is choked off.

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