Basic+ Word of the Day: choke

choke (verb, noun) past tense: choked LISTEN

Martial arts choke movement

Choke means ‘to strangle’ or ‘to stop breathing due to a blockage of the windpipe.’

  • Let go of my neck; you're choking me.
  • Heather was choking on a piece of meat.

A choke is any mechanism that block the windpipe.

  • The martial arts fighter applied a choke hold to his opponent.

Did you know?

Choking in sports means that a team or sportsperson loses the game by not performing at the expected level, often in the final moments of a game. Example: “The home team was winning in the first half, but they choked in the final seconds.” Similarly, choking can apply to any kind of performance. Example: “Although the actor had performed the play many times, he choked and forgot his lines.”

Related words

choker: a necklace that fits tightly around a woman’s neck. “Joan wore a choker made of a silk cord and a silver heart.”

In pop culture

Choke is a 2008 movie about a man who intentionally chokes on food at expensive restaurants so they will pay him money, which he can use to pay his mother’s medical bills. It’s based on a novel by Chuck Palahniuk, the author of Fight Club. Watch the trailer:

There are other meanings of choke.
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