choke off(redirected from choking them off)
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1. To stop or prevent something from flowing normally. A noun or pronoun can be used between "choke" and "off." I was watering the flowers when Doug stepped on the hose and choked off the water supply.
2. To cause someone or something to have difficulty breathing. A noun or pronoun can be used between "choke" and "off." Undo the baby's top button before it chokes off her air supply!
3. To stop someone abruptly while they are talking. A noun or pronoun can be used between "choke" and "off." I had to choke him off because his boring story was putting me to sleep.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
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 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.
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.