Dear all,

I'd like to know about the usage of this word 'stifle' in detail.

1. I am (stifled, stifling) in the airless room. : Which verb form is right? I think "stifled" is right, but in the dictionary, it says that "I felt I was stifling in the airless room."
2. "College life feels stifling.", "Back in high school, I've been held down. I used to feel stifled.", "I'm stifled by what he said." Are these sentences natural to use or awkward to use? I mean, when I feel really suffocated by all these kind of things, can I use the verb "stifle" like these? I'm not sure that these are natural ways to express those certain situations well or not.
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  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    1. The OED gives examples of this intransitive sense of stifle, with the victim as the subject. But I think the perpetrator is more usually the subject of the verb stifle.

    2. Most of these uses of stifle sound fine to me. I'm not sure about I'm stifled by what he said - usually metaphorical stifling happens over a long period: it is difficult to imagine it happening as a result of a person's single statement.


    Thank you a lot, and one more thing.
    When the room is stuffy, how do you usually describe your feeling in the room? I mean, I heard that we can describe that kind of feeling with the verbs "suffocate" and "stifle". I'd like to know how native English speakers use them in a real life.
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