When something gets stuck in a person’s throat and the person can’t swallow, use the word "choke."

  • Bill choked while eating a hot dog.
  • A man in our office choked during his lunch. He’s okay.
  • A woman in the restaurant almost choked to death until someone hit her on the back.
  • Don’t take such big bites. You’ll choke.

We might use the verb "choke" if someone or something grabs a person by the neck:


  • He’s being choked.
  • His computer is choking him.
  • I read online about a woman who was sent to prison for choking a coworker.
  • Eric doesn’t like to wear ties because he feels like he’s being choked.

" is also a popular word to use when describing a team or a person who is in a position of losing after having been in a winning position:

  • Our team was ahead, but then we choked in the last five minutes and lost.
  • Dan always chokes during a tennis match.
  • Helen is a good worker because she never chokes under pressure.
  • Okay, I’m ahead by three points. Hope I don’t choke.

Click here to go to the Word of the Day page.

March 20, 2012