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[strang-guh l-hohld] /ˈstræŋ gəlˌhoʊld/
Wrestling. an illegal hold by which an opponent's breath is choked off.
a restraining hold in which one person uses an arm to encircle the neck of another; a chokehold.
any force or influence that restricts the free actions or development of a person or thing; a stifling grip:
to break the stranglehold of superstition.
Origin of stranglehold
1890-95; strangle + hold1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for stranglehold
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Party manipulators had now got their stranglehold on the country.

    Ireland Since Parnell Daniel Desmond Sheehan
  • It gave them such a stranglehold––with the right sort of men––and Brace was the right sort.

    At the Crossroads Harriet T. Comstock
  • The smaller the group the tighter its stranglehold over your life and activities.

  • Then, indeed, the Lhari had been lying all along, the vicious lie that maintained their stranglehold monopoly of star-travel.

    The Colors of Space Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Mrs. Trapes, I've got a stranglehold on that idea, for it is rather brilliant.

    The Definite Object Jeffery Farnol
  • And just for one moment he hoped that as Death secured its stranglehold the dead creature had recognized his.

    The Heart of Unaga Ridgwell Cullum
  • I leaped at the smother of bodies, ripped one away with a stranglehold, slashed at its throat.

    The Door Through Space Marion Zimmer Bradley
British Dictionary definitions for stranglehold


a wrestling hold in which a wrestler's arms are pressed against his opponent's windpipe See also Japanese stranglehold
complete power or control over a person or situation
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 stranglehold

1893, in wrestling, from strangle (v.) + hold (n.). Figurative use by 1901.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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