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stifle (v.)

late 14c., "to choke, suffocate, drown," of uncertain origin, possibly an alteration of Old French estouffer "to stifle, smother" (Modern French étouffer), itself of uncertain origin, perhaps from a Germanic source (compare Old High German stopfon "to plug up, stuff"). Metaphoric sense is from 1570s. Related: Stifled; stifling.