choke up

choke up

Meaning | Synonyms

  • make a person become overemotional and speechless
  • to make a person begin to cry
  • the state of being so emotional that a person is not able to say anything further
  • a state where a person cannot do anything but cry because of feelings of fear or sadness
  • the phrase is also used for machinery and automobiles when they do not start due to mechanical failures or engine shut down

Example Sentences

  1. He chokes up every time someone brings up the topic of their sudden movement to a new country. Perhaps there is a story behind it that we do not know about.
  2. His new car chokes up every time the weather gets cold.
  3. To choke up on stage is a common phenomenon that every student in this academy gets over very easily.
  4. The student choked up during the examination when he could not answer any of the questions that the examiner asked him.
  5. She is so emotional that she chokes up every time someone dies in a movie.
  6. The fact that a death in the family makes us choke up only shows that we are humans, bounded by mortality.
  7. All the relatives choked up at the funeral procession that was awfully emotional moment for everyone there.


The origin is speculated to have come from machinery choking up in the early 1700’s. The French or Dutch may have used the phrase when industrialisation was booming but no solid evidence of the origin of the phrase is available today.


  • clog up

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A good, clear explanation that would be helpful to all those who teach the use idiomatic English.

- Mrs. Santosh Nath August 1, 2017

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