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Related to choke up: choke off
1. To feel a strong emotion and struggle to speak because of it. I thought I would be able to give the eulogy, but I became so choked up that I couldn't do it.
2. To cause one to feel a strong emotion and struggle to speak because of it. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "choke" and "up." The author's speech on mortality really choked me up.
3. To make one feel the urge to cry. I had been fine all day, but as soon as I walked into the funeral home, I got all choked up.
4. To block or obstruct. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "choke" and "up." I was watering the flowers when Doug stepped on the hose and choked it up.
5. To cough and expel a substance that is stuck in one's throat. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "choke" and "up." Luckily, I was able to choke that piece of bread up before needing the Heimlich maneuver.
6. To fail to perform to one's full potential as a result of nervousness under pressure. "Up" is often dropped from the phrase to convey this meaning. Of course he only had five points in the championship—he always chokes up in big games.
7. To grip a piece of equipment or tool (typically a baseball bat) so that one's hands are closer to the contact point. Choke up on the bat to get a better grip.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
choke someone up
Fig. to cause someone to feel like starting to cry. Sad stories like that always choke me up. The movie was sad and it choked up most of the audience.
choke something up
1. to clog something up; to fill up and block something. Branches and leaves choked the sewer up. Rust choked up the pipes.
2. to cough or choke until something that has blocked one's windpipe is brought up. The old man choked up the candy that was stuck in his windpipe. He choked up the chunk of meat and could breathe again.
1. to feel like crying. I choked up when I heard the news. He was beginning to choke up as he talked.
2. to become emotional or saddened so that one cannot speak. I choked up when I heard about the disaster. I was choking up, and I knew I would not be able to go on.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Block a channel or other passage, as in Vegetation choked up the creek like a dam. [Late 1600s]
2. Be too emotional or upset to speak, as in She became so emotional about winning that she choked up and was unable to give an interview .
3. Become too nervous or tense in a critical situation to perform, as in He's fine during practice but in a match he tends to choke up. This usage, also put as to choke alone, is especially common in sports. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]
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.
1. To be unable to speak because of strong emotion: The speaker choked up when he tried to talk about his grandparents' journey to America.
2. To cause someone to be unable to speak because of strong emotion: Their generosity choked me up. Whenever I hear the national anthem, I get choked up.
3. choke up on To grip some implement that is used to strike something, such as a baseball bat or a hammer, at a point closer to where contact is made:The child had to choke up on the golf club because it was too large.
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.