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Related to choke back: choke off
To try to keep from expelling something, such as words or tears. A noun or pronoun can be used between "choke" and "back." I choked back a question about her boyfriend as soon as I remembered that they had broken up. I didn't feel sick until after the ceremony had started, so I had to choke back vomit the entire time.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
choke something back
to fight hard to keep something from coming out of one's mouth, such as sobs, tears, angry words, vomit, etc. I tried to choke the unpleasant words back, but I could not. She choked back her grief, but it came forth nonetheless. I could hardly choke my tears back.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Suppress, as in He choked back his tears. [Late 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
To suppress or hold something back, especially with great effort: I choked back tears as I told my family the sad news.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.