Alternative forms 
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”).
stifle (plural stifles)
- A hind knee of various mammals, especially horses.
- (veterinary medicine) A bone disease of this region.
a hind knee of various mammals, especially horses
bone disease of this region
stifle (third-person singular simple present stifles, present participle stifling, simple past and past participle stifled)
- (transitive) To interrupt or cut off.
- (transitive) To repress, keep in or hold back.
- The army stifled the rebellion.
- 2011 October 29, Neil Johnston, “Norwich 3 - 3 Blackburn”, BBC Sport:
- In fact, there was no suggestion of that, although Wolves deployed men behind the ball to stifle the league leaders in a first-half that proved very frustrating for City.
- (transitive) To smother or suffocate.
- The heat was stifling the children.
- (intransitive) To feel smothered etc.
- The heat felt stifling.
- (intransitive) To die of suffocation.
- Two firemen tragically stifled in yesterday's fire when trying to rescue an old lady from her bedroom.
- (transitive) To treat a silkworm cocoon with steam as part of the process of silk production.
to repress, keep in or hold back
to smother or suffocate
- Czech: dusit (cs), udusit (cs)
- Finnish: tukehduttaa (fi)
- German: erdrücken (de), ersticken (de)
- Hungarian: elfojt (hu)
- Japanese: (a person) 窒息させる (ja) (ちっそくさせる, chissoku saseru), (an activity or desire) 抑圧する (ja) (よくあつする, yokuatsu suru), (a flame) 消す (ja) (けす, kesu). (a sound) 静める (ja) (しずめる, shizumeru), (a rumor) もみ消す (ja) (もみけす, momikesu)