stifle

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See also: štifle

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

The verb is derived from Late Middle English stuflen (to have difficulty breathing due to heat, stifle; to suffocate by drowning, drown) [and other forms];[1] further etymology uncertain, perhaps from stuffen (to kill by suffocation; to stifle from heat; to extinguish, suppress (body heat, breath, humour, etc.); to deprive a plant of the conditions necessary for growth, choke) + -el- (derivational infix in verbs, often denoting diminutive, intensive, or repetitive actions or events).[2] Stuffen is derived from Old French estofer, estouffer (to choke, strangle, suffocate; (figuratively) to inhibit, prevent) [and other forms] (modern French étouffer),[3][4] a variant of estoper, estuper (to block, plug, stop up; to stiffen, thicken) (modern French étouper (to caulk)), influenced by estofer (to pad, stuff; to upholster) (modern French étoffer). Estoper is derived from Vulgar Latin *stuppāre, from Latin stuppa (coarse flax, tow) (as a stuffing material; from Ancient Greek στύπη (stúpē), στύππη (stúppē) (compare στυππεῖον (stuppeîon)); probably from Pre-Greek) + -āre. According to the Oxford English Dictionary a derivation from Old Norse stífla (to dam; to choke, stop up) “appears untenable on the ground both of form and sense”.[4]

The noun is derived from the verb.[5]

Verb[edit]

stifle (third-person singular simple present stifles, present participle stifling, simple past and past participle stifled)

  1. (transitive, also figuratively) To make (an animal or person) unconscious or cause (an animal or person) death by preventing breathing; to smother, to suffocate.
  2. (transitive, hyperbolic) To cause (someone) difficulty in breathing, or a choking or gagging feeling.
    The heat was stifling the children.
  3. (transitive, also figuratively) To prevent (a breath, cough, or cry, or the voice, etc.) from being released from the throat.
  4. (transitive) To make (something) unable to be heard by blocking it with some medium.
  5. (transitive, figuratively)
    1. (transitive) To keep in, hold back, or repress (something).
      Synonyms: hinder, restrain, smother, suppress, throttle
      The army stifled the rebellion.
      • 1723, Daniel Waterland, A Second Vindication of Christ's Divinity
        I desire only to have things fairly represented as they really are; no evidence smothered or stifled.
      • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 15, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
        Edward Churchill still attended to his work in a hopeless mechanical manner like a sleep-walker who walks safely on a well-known round. But his Roman collar galled him, his cossack stifled him, his biretta was as uncomfortable as a merry-andrew's cap and bells.
      • 2011 October 29, Neil Johnston, “Norwich 3-3 Blackburn”, in 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.
    2. (transitive) To prevent (something) from being revealed; to conceal, to hide, to suppress.
  6. (transitive, agriculture (sericulture)) To treat (a silkworm cocoon) with steam as part of the process of silk production.
  7. (intransitive) To die of suffocation.
    Two firemen tragically stifled in yesterday’s fire when trying to rescue an old lady from her bedroom.
  8. (intransitive, hyperbolic) To feel smothered; to find it difficult to breathe.
    The heat felt stifling.
Conjugation[edit]
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See also[edit]

Noun[edit]

stifle (plural stifles)

  1. (rare) An act or state of being stifled.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

The stifle (sense 1) is indicated as number 27 in this drawing of a horse.[n 1]
A dog’s stifle (sense 1) is indicated as number 12 in the above illustration.

The noun is derived from Middle English stifle (joint between the femur and tibia of a quadruped) [and other forms]; further etymology uncertain, probably derived from Anglo-Norman estive (leg), and Old French estive (leg) (compare Old French estival (boot, shoe)).[6]

The verb is derived from the noun.[7]

Noun[edit]

stifle (plural stifles)

  1. (zootomy) The joint between the femur and tibia in the hind leg of various four-legged mammals, especially horses, corresponding to the knee in humans.
    Synonym: stifle joint
  2. (veterinary medicine) A bone disease of this region.
Derived terms[edit]
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Verb[edit]

stifle (third-person singular simple present stifles, present participle stifling, simple past and past participle stifled)

  1. (transitive) To cause (a dog, horse, or other four-legged mammal) to dislocate or sprain its stifle joint.
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Notes[edit]

  1. ^ From C[harles] J[ames] Korinek; A[lbie] W[illiam] Korinek, “Diseases of the Horse: Cause, Symptoms and Treatment”, in Diseases of Domestic Animals and Poultry: Their Cause, Symptoms and Treatment, Portland, Or.: Korinek Remedy Company, 1915, OCLC 17424821, page 10.

References[edit]

  1. ^ stuflen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ -el-, suf.(3)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  3. ^ stuffen, v.(2)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  4. 4.0 4.1 stifle, v.1”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “stifle1, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  5. ^ stifle, n.2”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020.
  6. ^ stifle, n.(1)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.; compare “stifle, n.1”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020: “Of obscure origin”; “stifle1, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  7. ^ stifle, v.2”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2021.

Further reading[edit]

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