adjective \ˈded\

: no longer alive or living : no longer having life

: not able to feel or move

: very tired

Full Definition of DEAD

:  deprived of life :  no longer alive
a (1) :  having the appearance of death :  deathly <in a dead faint> (2) :  lacking power to move, feel, or respond :  numb
b :  very tired
c (1) :  incapable of being stirred emotionally or intellectually :  unresponsive <dead to pity>
(2) :  grown cold :  extinguished <dead coals>
a :  inanimate, inert <dead matter>
b :  barren, infertile <dead soil>
c :  no longer producing or functioning :  exhausted <a dead battery>
a (1) :  lacking power or effect <a dead law> (2) :  no longer having interest, relevance, or significance <a dead issue>
b :  no longer in use :  obsolete <a dead language>
c :  no longer active :  extinct <a dead volcano>
d :  lacking in gaiety or animation <a dead party>
e (1) :  lacking in commercial activity :  quiet
(2) :  commercially idle or unproductive <dead capital>
f :  lacking elasticity <a dead tennis ball>
g :  being out of action or out of use <the phone went dead>; specifically :  free from any connection to a source of voltage and free from electric charges
h (1) :  being out of play <a dead ball>
(2) :  temporarily forbidden to play or to make a certain play in croquet
a :  not running or circulating :  stagnant <dead water>
b :  not turning <the dead center of a lathe>
c :  not imparting motion or power although otherwise functioning <a dead rear axle>
d :  lacking warmth, vigor, or taste
a :  absolutely uniform <a dead level>
b (1) :  unerring
(2) :  exact <dead center of the target> (3) :  certain to be doomed <he's dead if he's late for curfew> (4) :  irrevocable <a dead loss>
c :  abrupt <brought to a dead stop>
d (1) :  complete, absolute <a dead silence>
(2) :  all-out <caught it on the dead run>
:  devoid of former occupants <dead villages>
dead·ness noun
dead in the water
:  incapable of being effective :  stalled <peace talks were dead in the water>
:  as good as dead :  doomed <most books are dead in the water long before their publication — Phillip Lopate>
dead to rights
:  with no chance of escape or excuse :  red-handed <had him dead to rights for the robbery>
over one's dead body
:  only by overcoming one's utter and determined resistance <vows that they'll raise his taxes over his dead body>

Examples of DEAD

  1. Her husband is dead. He died last year.
  2. He was found dead in his apartment yesterday.
  3. He lay dead on the floor.
  4. The lost mountain climbers were believed dead.
  5. The poster said that the robbers were wanted dead or alive.
  6. Our legs were completely dead after hiking all day.
  7. I'm dead if I come in late for work again.
  8. If I ever get my hands on you, you're dead!

Origin of DEAD

Middle English deed, from Old English dēad; akin to Old Norse dauthr dead, deyja to die, Old High German tōt dead — more at die
First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of DEAD

dead, defunct, deceased, departed, late mean devoid of life. dead applies literally to what is deprived of vital force but is used figuratively of anything that has lost any attribute (as energy, activity, radiance) suggesting life <a dead, listless performance>. defunct stresses cessation of active existence or operation <a defunct television series>. deceased , departed , and late apply to persons who have died recently. deceased is the preferred term in legal use <the estate of the deceased>. departed is used usually as a euphemism <our departed sister>. late is used especially with reference to a person in a specific relation or status <the company's late president>.



: people who have died

the dead : the state of being dead

: the time in the middle of the night or winter

plural dead

Full Definition of DEAD

:  one that is dead —usually used collectively
:  the state of being dead <raised him from the dead — Colossians 2:12(Revised Standard Version)>
:  the time of greatest quiet <the dead of night>

Examples of DEAD

  1. By the end of the war, there were over two million dead.
  2. He began his journey in the dead of winter.

First Known Use of DEAD

before 12th century



: completely or totally

: in a sudden and complete way

: directly or exactly

Full Definition of DEAD

:  absolutely, utterly <dead certain> <finished dead last>
:  suddenly and completely <stopped dead>
:  directly <dead ahead>

Examples of DEAD

  1. She's dead certain that she can finish the job.
  2. We were dead tired by the end of the day.
  3. He's not joking. In fact, he's dead serious.
  4. They were both dead drunk and passed out on the floor.
  5. She finished the race dead last.

First Known Use of DEAD

14th century


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