Advanced and Proficiency Vocabulary for Exams(e.g.GRE, Banks, Civil Services, SAT / LSAT). For IELTS/TOEFL, and everyday spoken vocabulary, go to our Spoken Vocabulary Database.
The word ‘stifle’ is used to express smothering or repressing something in both a literal and figurative way. Literally, something ‘stifling’ stops you from breathing comfortably. Figuratively, it is used to express stopping something from happening or developing, or a feeling from being expressed. Its versatility means that it is common in both a professional and social context.
The lecture was so boring that I found myself having to stifle a yawn on a few occasions.
I really struggled for breath in that stifling heat. It was extremely oppressive.
The stringent rules and regulations this company has in place only serves to stifle innovation and free-thinking.