choking Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a condition caused by blocking the airways to the lungs (as with food or swelling of the larynx)
  2. noun the act of suffocating (someone) by constricting the windpipe
    strangling; strangulation; throttling.
    • no evidence that the choking was done by the accused
  3. verb breathe with great difficulty, as when experiencing a strong emotion
    • She choked with emotion when she spoke about her deceased husband
  4. verb be too tight; rub or press
    gag; choke; fret.
    • This neckband is choking the cat
  5. verb wring the neck of
    choke; scrag.
    • The man choked his opponent
  6. verb constrict (someone's) throat and keep from breathing
    strangle; choke.
  7. verb struggle for breath; have insufficient oxygen intake
    gag; strangle; suffocate; choke.
    • he swallowed a fishbone and gagged
  8. verb fail to perform adequately due to tension or agitation
    • The team should have won hands down but choked, disappointing the coach and the audience
  9. verb check or slow down the action or effect of
    • She choked her anger
  10. verb become or cause to become obstructed
    clog; congest; choke; foul; clog up; choke off; back up.
    • The leaves clog our drains in the Fall
    • The water pipe is backed up
  11. verb impair the respiration of or obstruct the air passage of
    stifle; suffocate; asphyxiate; choke.
    • The foul air was slowly suffocating the children
  12. verb become stultified, suppressed, or stifled
    suffocate; choke.
    • He is suffocating--living at home with his aged parents in the small village
  13. verb suppress the development, creativity, or imagination of
    suffocate; choke.
    • His job suffocated him
  14. verb pass from physical life and lose all bodily attributes and functions necessary to sustain life
    decease; give-up the ghost; pop off; perish; die; buy the farm; snuff it; choke; drop dead; pass away; expire; exit; croak; pass; go; kick the bucket; conk; cash in one's chips.
    • She died from cancer
    • The children perished in the fire
    • The patient went peacefully
    • The old guy kicked the bucket at the age of 102
  15. verb reduce the air supply
    throttle; choke.
    • choke a carburetor
  16. verb cause to retch or choke
    gag; choke.


Chok"ing adjective
  1. That chokes; producing the feeling of strangulation.
  2. Indistinct in utterance, as the voice of a person affected with strong emotion.

Webster 1913