9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[as-fik-see-eyt] /æsˈfɪk siˌeɪt/
verb (used with object), asphyxiated, asphyxiating.
to produce asphyxia in.
to cause to die or lose consciousness by impairing normal breathing, as by gas or other noxious agents; choke; suffocate; smother.
verb (used without object), asphyxiated, asphyxiating.
to become asphyxiated.
Origin of asphyxiate
1830-40; asphyxi(a) + -ate1
Related forms
asphyxiation, noun
asphyxiator, noun
Can be confused
asphyxia, asphyxiation. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for asphyxiation
  • Three people inside died from asphyxiation and four others were badly injured.
  • Some studies suggest that prisoners are sometimes inadequately sedated, and perhaps die in silent agony from asphyxiation.
  • Three of the children died of asphyxiation at the scene, one was pronounced dead at a hospital and the fifth died today.
  • Those who died suffered from asphyxiation and heatstroke, health officials here said.
  • Autopsies of seventeen victims showed that they had died from asphyxiation by inhaled ash.
  • Without the signals, the muscles go slack, leading to asphyxiation.
  • Severe asphyxiation can be rapidly life-threatening.
  • It is those caught in a deflation trap with fixed exchange rates that face slow asphyxiation, and deeper social damage.
  • Medical reports revealed that he had not died from asphyxiation.
  • Three-quarters of avalanche fatalities are caused by asphyxiation.
British Dictionary definitions for asphyxiation


to cause asphyxia in or undergo asphyxia; smother; suffocate
Derived Forms
asphyxiation, noun
asphyxiator, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for asphyxiation

1866, noun of action from asphyxiate (v.).



1818, "to suffocate" (someone or something), from asphyxia + -ate (2). Related: Asphyxiated; asphyxiating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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asphyxiation in Medicine

asphyxiate as·phyx·i·ate (ās-fĭk'sē-āt')
v. as·phyx·i·at·ed, as·phyx·i·at·ing, as·phyx·i·ates
To induce asphyxia.

as·phyx'i·a'tion n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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