English dictionary

Info: This web site is based on WordNet 3.0 from Princeton University.

English verb: suffocate

1. suffocate (contact) deprive of oxygen and prevent from breathing

SamplesOthello smothered Desdemona with a pillow.
The child suffocated herself with a plastic bag that the parents had left on the floor.

ExamplesThey want to suffocate the prisoners

Synonymsasphyxiate, smother

Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody.
Something ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)kill


Verb groupasphyxiate, stifle, suffocate

2. suffocate (contact) impair the respiration of or obstruct the air passage of

SamplesThe foul air was slowly suffocating the children.

Synonymsasphyxiate, choke, stifle

Pattern of useSomething ----s somebody.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)block, close up, impede, jam, obstruct, obturate, occlude

3. suffocate (change) become stultified, suppressed, or stifled

SamplesHe is suffocating--living at home with his aged parents in the small village.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s

Broader (hypernym)become, turn

Verb groupchoke, suffocate

4. suffocate (change) suppress the development, creativity, or imagination of

SamplesHis job suffocated him.


Pattern of useSomething ----s somebody.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)dampen, stifle

Verb groupchoke, suffocate

5. suffocate (change) be asphyxiated; die from lack of oxygen

SamplesThe child suffocated under the pillow.

Synonymsasphyxiate, stifle

Pattern of useSomebody ----s

Broader (hypernym)buy the farm, cash in one's chips, choke, conk, croak, decease, die, drop dead, exit, expire, give-up the ghost, go, kick the bucket, pass, pass away, perish, pop off, snuff it

Narrower (hyponym)strangle

Verb groupasphyxiate, smother, suffocate

6. suffocate (body) feel uncomfortable for lack of fresh air

SamplesThe room was hot and stuffy and we were suffocating.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)feel

7. suffocate (body) struggle for breath; have insufficient oxygen intake

SamplesHe swallowed a fishbone and gagged.

Synonymschoke, gag, strangle

Pattern of useSomebody ----s.
Somebody ----s on something.
Somebody ----s PP

Broader (hypernym)hurt, suffer

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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