throttle (plural throttles)
- A valve that regulates the supply of fuel-air mixture to an internal combustion engine and thus controls its speed; a similar valve that controls the air supply to an engine.
- The lever or pedal that controls this valve.
- 1961 July, J. Geoffrey Todd, “Impressions of railroading in the United States: Part Two”, in Trains Illustrated, page 425:
- To my unpractised eye, the undulations in the track were quite imperceptible, but the engineer's hand on the throttle was never still.
- (anatomy, archaic) The windpipe or trachea.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir Walter Scott to this entry?)
the lever or pedal that controls this valve
- (transitive) To cut back on the speed of (an engine, person, organization, network connection, etc.).
- (transitive) To strangle or choke someone.
- 1649, [John] Milton, [Eikonoklastes] […], London: Printed by Matthew Simmons, […], OCLC 1044608640:
- Grant him this, and the Parliament hath no more freedom than if it sat in his noose, which, when he pleases to draw together with one twitch of his negative, shall throttle a whole nation, to the wish of Caligula, in one neck.
- (intransitive) To have the throat obstructed so as to be in danger of suffocation; to choke; to suffocate.
- (intransitive) To breathe hard, as when nearly suffocated.
- (transitive) To utter with breaks and interruption, in the manner of a person half suffocated.
- c. 1595–1596, William Shakespeare, “A Midsommer Nights Dreame”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene i]:
- I have seen them shiver and look pale,
Make periods in the midst of sentences,
Throttle their practised accent in their fears.
to cut back speed
to strangle someone
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