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choke someone off
to prevent someone from continuing to talk. (A figurative use; does not imply physical choking.) The opposition choked the speakers' debate off before they finished. Why did they want to choke off the speakers?
choke something off
1. Lit. to restrict or strangle a living creature's windpipe. The tight collar on the cat tended to choke its airstream off. The collar choked off its airstream.
2. Fig. to put an end to debate or discussion; to stop the flow of words from any source. Are they going to choke the debate off? The chair tried to choke off debate but failed.
choke off somethingalso choke something off
to suddenly stop the movement or progress of something He told his staff to stop talking to the press, hoping to choke off the bad publicity.
1. Put a stop to, throttle, as in Higher interest rates are choking off the real estate boom. [Early 1800s]
2. Stop someone from speaking or complaining, as in Throughout the debate the congressman had to be choked off to give the other candidate a chance to speak . [Slang; late 1800s]
To prevent or stop the free flow of something: High tariffs choked off trade between the two countries. The car accident in the middle of the road choked the traffic off, and no one could get through.