- verb to make someone stop breathing by cutting off the supply of air, or to die from lack of air to breathe
- verb to be uncomfortable because of heat and lack of air
- verb to make someone stop breathing by cutting off the supply of air to his or her nose and mouth
Origin & History of “suffocate”
To suffocate someone is etymologically to press down their ‘throat’. The word comes from the past participle of Latin suffocāre, a compound verb formed from the prefix sub- ‘under, down’ and faucēs ‘throat’ (source of the English technical term faucal ‘of the throat’ (19th c.)). The origins of faucēs are not known.