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used in a sentence
2 meanings
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1  —as in:
stifling the urge
Definition to suppress (prevent something or decrease its development) — often political freedom
  • These excessive rules that stifle creativity.
stifle = suppress
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • The authorities cracked down in an attempt to stifle dissent.
  • stifle = suppress
  • The book is so boring, it stifles whatever curiosity students bring tot he class.
  • stifles = suppresses
  • It is a stifling police state.
  • stifling = making it difficult for people to express themselves freely
  • I stifled my laugh.
  • stifled = suppressed
  • I stifled a giggle.
    S.E. Hinton  --  The Outsiders
  • stifled = suppressed (stopped)
  • Theresa put her hand to her mouth to stifle her scream, but it was still loud enough that the people at the nearby tables turned their heads.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  Message in a Bottle
  • stifle = suppress
  • I stifled a yawn, then looked at my watch.
    Sarah Dessen  --  Along for the Ride
  • stifled = suppressed (prevented something from happening)
  • Panicking, Cole stifled a cough—he didn't dare cough.
    Ben Mikaeslen  --  Touching Spirit Bear
  • stifled = suppressed (held back)
  • ...they both had to stifle their laughs as Professor Trelawney gazed in their direction.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
stifle = suppress

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
2  —as in:
the heat is stifling
Definition to make breathing difficult or impossible — often from heat or humidity
  • It was a hot, humid, stifling day.
stifling = making it difficult to breath
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • The heat and humidity are stifling.
  • stifling = making it difficult to breath
  • Her perfume was stifling.
  • stifling = making it difficult to breath
  • The air seemed thick and stifling.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Guardian
  • stifling = making breathing more difficult — typically due to heat and humidity
  • In the summer's stifling heat, the room seemed airless and threatening.
    Ben Mikaeslen  --  Touching Spirit Bear
  • stifling = so hot and humid that breathing is more difficult
  • And she was stooped and seemed to be finding it hard to breathe, as if the air of that place stifled her.
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Magician's Nephew
  • stifled = made breathing difficult
  • The room was large and stifling, and, though it was already four o'clock, opening the windows admitted only a gust of hot shrubbery from the Park.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • stifling = making breathing difficult — typically due to heat and humidity
  • The atmosphere is stifling, sluggish, leaden.
    Anne Frank  --  The Diary of a Young Girl
  • stifling = (figuratively) making breathing difficult
  • I didn't know if it was the emptiness, the stifling heat, or the fact it was only nine o'clock, but I couldn't settle into sleep despite how tired I was.
    Sue Monk Kidd  --  The Secret Life of Bees
  • stifling = making breathing more difficult
  • Home, home–a few small rooms, stiflingly over-inhabited by a man, by a periodically teeming woman, by a rabble of boys and girls of all ages.
    Aldous Huxley  --  Brave New World
stiflingly = uncomfortable (figuratively, making breathing difficult)

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
Less commonly:
Much more rarely, to stifle is used in the context of anatomy to refer to a four-legged animal's equivalent of the human knee (the joint between the upper and lower leg).
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