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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.
  3. The windpipe or trachea.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir Walter Scott to this entry?)

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 cut back on the speed of (an engine, person, organization, network connection, etc.).
  2. (transitive) To strangle or choke someone.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      Grant him this, and the Parliament hath no more freedom than if it sat in his noose, which, when he pleases to draw together with one twitch of his negative, shall throttle a whole nation, to the wish of Caligula, in one neck.
  3. (intransitive) To have the throat obstructed so as to be in danger of suffocation; to choke; to suffocate.
  4. (intransitive) To breathe hard, as when nearly suffocated.
  5. (transitive) To utter with breaks and interruption, in the manner of a person half suffocated.
    • (Can we date this quote?) William Shakespeare
      I have seen them shiver and look pale,
      Make periods in the midst of sentences,
      Throttle their practised accent in their fears.
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.