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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ And I suppose we'd better go and asphyxiate ourselves up at the sulphur springs.
▪ Maybe she was hoping to asphyxiate him with carbon monoxide fumes.
▪ Sulphur hexafluoride itself is harmless except in a confined space, where it displaces oxygen and can asphyxiate people.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Asphyxiate \As*phyx"i*ate\, v. t. To bring to a state of asphyxia; to suffocate.

Note: [Used commonly in the past pple.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1818, "to suffocate" (someone or something), from asphyxia + -ate (2). Related: Asphyxiated; asphyxiating.\n


vb. 1 (context transitive English) To smother or suffocate someone. 2 (context intransitive English) To be smothered or suffocated.

  1. v. deprive of oxygen and prevent from breathing; "Othello smothered Desdemona with a pillow"; "The child suffocated herself with a plastic bag that the parents had left on the floor" [syn: smother, suffocate]

  2. impair the respiration of or obstruct the air passage of; "The foul air was slowly suffocating the children" [syn: suffocate, stifle, choke]

  3. be asphyxiated; die from lack of oxygen; "The child suffocated under the pillow" [syn: suffocate, stifle]

Usage examples of "asphyxiate".

The transportees, sunk in wretched apathy, doze or stare about in the asphyxiating miasma.

That rosy color, which has been observed in those asphyxiated by oxide of carbon, decided it.

A cheaper method, that of cramming victims into trucks and killing them with engine exhaust, was judged unsatisfactory because not enough victims could be asphyxiated at one time.

I suddenly determined that the child and Joseph Cradock the farmer, and that unnamed Stratfordshire man, all found at night, all asphyxiated, had been choked by vast swarms of moths.

I got to the assumption or conclusion, whichever you like, that certain people had been asphyxiated by the action of moths.

The third type consists of lachrymal, or tear-producing, gas, which is used in the same way as the asphyxiating, but its effects are not fatal, merely putting a man out of action for a few hours.

It is really, however, the most efficacious of the three types, as it does not evaporate as readily as the asphyxiating gas.

After a couple days the glass is all steamed up and the roach has asphyxiated messlessly and Orin discards both the roach and the tumbler in separate sealed Ziplocs in the dumpster complex by the golf course up the street.

A deficiency of oxygen and an accumulation of carbonic acid in the atmosphere, produce injurious effects, however, long before the asphyxiating point is attained.

Kimmer suffered a rupture of the myometrium, which might easily have been fatal, for she could have bled to death and our baby could have asphyxiated.

The method of systematic lying has been shown to the life in connection with the use of asphyxiating gas.

These suits are provided with a face-plate and visor and their own personal air supply, thus sealing the user off from super-heated air or asphyxiating volcanic dust.

Lee knew that there was a grave danger of her asphyxiating before his very eyes.

I saw others lying on wretched beds, mothers with their little children, old men dying of hunger, young girls dying for love, all rigid, suffocated, asphyxiated, while in the center of the room the brasier still gave forth the fumes of charcoal.

The principal difference between fifth columnists in the Cold War versus the war on terrorism is that you could sit next to a Communist in a subway without asphyxiating.