1. To stop the breath of by crowding something into the windpipe, or introducing an irrespirable substance into the lungs; to choke; to suffocate; to cause the death of by such means; as, to stifle one with smoke or dust. Stifled with kisses, a sweet death he dies. (Dryden) I took my leave, being half stifled with the closeness of the room. (swift)
2. To stop; to extinguish; to deaden; to quench; as, to stifle the breath; to stifle a fire or flame. Bodies . . . Stifle in themselves the rays which they do not reflect or transmit. (Sir I. Newton)
3. To suppress the manifestation or report of; to smother; to conceal from public knowledge; as, to stifle a story; to stifle passion. I desire only to have things fairly represented as they really are; no evidence smothered or stifled. (Waterland)
Origin: Freq. Of OE. Stif stiff; cf. Icel. Stifla to dam up.
To die by reason of obstruction of the breath, or because some noxious substance prevents respiration. You shall stifle in your own report. (Shak)
(Science: veterinary) The joint next above the hock, and near the flank, in the hind leg of the horse and allied animals; the joint corresponding to the knee in man; called also stifle joint. Stifle bone, a small bone at the stifle joint; the patella, or kneepan.
Origin: From Stiff.