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From Middle English stranglen, from Old French estrangler, from Latin strangulō, strangulāre, from Ancient Greek στραγγαλόομαι (strangalóomai, to strangle), from στραγγάλη (strangálē, a halter); compare στραγγός (strangós, twisted) and string. Displaced Middle English wirien, awurien (to strangle) (> English worry).



strangle (third-person singular simple present strangles, present participle strangling, simple past and past participle strangled)

A drawing showing a woman being strangled.
  1. (transitive) To kill someone by squeezing the throat so as to cut off the oxygen supply; to choke, suffocate or throttle.
    She strangled her husband and dissolved the body in acid.
    • 1936, Robert Frost, “The Vindictives”, in A Further Range:
      And his subjects wrung all they could wring / Out of temple and palace and store. / But when there seemed no more to bring, / His captors convicted the king / Of once having started a war, / And strangled the wretch with a string.
  2. (transitive) To stifle or suppress.
    He strangled a scream.
  3. (intransitive) To be killed by strangulation, or become strangled.
    The cat slipped from the branch and strangled on its bell-collar.
  4. (intransitive) To be stifled, choked, or suffocated in any manner.

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strangle (plural strangles)

  1. (finance) A trading strategy using options, constructed through taking equal positions in a put and a call with different strike prices, such that there is a payoff if the underlying asset's value moves beyond the range of the two strike prices.

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Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of stranglen