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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English *throtel, diminutive of throte (throat), equivalent to throat +‎ -le. Compare German Drossel (throttle). More at throat.


throttle (plural throttles)

  1. A valve that regulates the supply of fuel-air mixture to an internal combustion engine and thus controls its speed; a similar valve that controls the air supply to an engine.
  2. The lever or pedal that controls this valve.
    Synonyms: accelerator, gas pedal, gas
    • 1961 July, J. Geoffrey Todd, “Impressions of railroading in the United States: Part Two”, in Trains Illustrated, page 425:
      To my unpractised eye, the undulations in the track were quite imperceptible, but the engineer's hand on the throttle was never still.
  3. (anatomy, archaic) The windpipe or trachea.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English throtlen (to choke, strangle, suffocate), from the noun (see above). Compare German erdrosseln (to strangle, choke, throttle).


throttle (third-person singular simple present throttles, present participle throttling, simple past and past participle throttled)

  1. (transitive) To control or adjust the speed of (an engine).
  2. (transitive) To cut back on the speed of (an engine, person, organization, network connection, etc.).
  3. (transitive) To strangle or choke someone.
  4. (intransitive) To have the throat obstructed so as to be in danger of suffocation; to choke; to suffocate.
  5. (intransitive) To breathe hard, as when nearly suffocated.
  6. (transitive) To utter with breaks and interruption, in the manner of a person half suffocated.
Derived terms[edit]
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