I'm trying to look for a word that describes an act, a word that describes the action of putting a body part for example, foot, into a place where there is little or no fresh air, or where little or no fresh air will be able to enter (such as a shoe, a sock, or anything that surrounds, covers, wraps it etc.) in a way that has a negative effect on that body part (esp. an injured body part).

When a part of your body is injured, or has a open wound, it's obvious that you should allow as much air to pass through it as possible to promote healing, and avoid having anything surrounds or covers it that lessens the air flow to the area. So if someone's foot is injured and I want to tell them not to put it in a place where there are little or no fresh air, or where little or no fresh air will be able to enter, is there a verb to describe that? i.e. "don't [...] your foot while it's healing".

  • 2
    Cover comes to mind
    – mplungjan
    Sep 11, 2013 at 15:26
  • 7
    What about making it a positive statement about what they should do? "Be sure that your foot gets plenty of fresh air" or "Keep the affected area well ventilated".
    – JeffSahol
    Sep 11, 2013 at 15:35
  • 5
    Not sure that the magical healing power of air is "obvious".
    – user24964
    Sep 11, 2013 at 18:19
  • 1
    I agree with mplungjan. The Mayo Clinic uses the terms cover and expose when discussing wound care. Note that they actually say a wound should be covered until it is healed enough so that infection is unlikely.
    – JLG
    Sep 11, 2013 at 20:20
  • 1
    Looking at the title, I was going to recommend "buggery", but that is clearly not the word you were looking for.
    – IQAndreas
    Dec 26, 2013 at 13:07

7 Answers 7



While it can also mean "to be cut off", in the context given it can mean to wrap up or suffocate in a way that prevents the flow of air.

  • I can't think of a time when you would tell someone Don't stifle your foot. I don't think this is a good word for this context.
    – JLG
    Sep 11, 2013 at 20:22
  • I feel like this is the exact sort of context in which you would say that. Though I feel like it would also be important, in this context, to add that you should let your foot breath, since one might not consider something as simple as wearing socks to be stifiling, even though it is.
    – Zibbobz
    Sep 11, 2013 at 20:28

Would suffocate work? It might have a different connotation, but I think everyone would understand if you used it in the example you gave. Other words could be Stifle, Smother, or Choke.


We can use the assertive form of sentence and say like this : Keep your foot bare when it's healing.

Bare means uncovered, unclothed


Keep your foot strapped and covered. Opposite would be don't cover the area, expose area to fresh air and sunshine regularly.

Another, is don't clothe, enclose or swaddle the area.


You could also go for smother:

v. smoth·ered, smoth·er·ing, smoth·ers

  1. To cover thickly: smother chicken in sauce.
    1a. To suffocate.
    1b. To be extinguished.
  2. To be concealed or suppressed.

A quick google search confirms that the word is used in this context.


In medical parlance it is common to use the word occlude for these situations. For wounds you can also use the word conceal.

The words here are used in a sense opposite to that of ventilation

Thus when you completely occlude a wound to facilitate healing and prevent bacterial contamination you apply occlusive dressing and occlusive clothing.




bind (a wound or a part of the body) with a protective strip of material. "bandage the foot so that the ankle is supported"
synonyms: bind, bind up, dress, cover, wrap, swaddle

source: google

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