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verb \ˈkil\

Simple Definition of kill

  • : to cause the death of (a person, animal, or plant) : to end the life of (someone or something)

  • : to cause the end of (something)

  • : to turn (something) off with a switch

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of kill

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to deprive of life :  cause the death of b (1) :  to slaughter (as a hog) for food (2) :  to convert a food animal into (a kind of meat) by slaughtering

  3. 2 a :  to put an end to <kill competition> b :  defeat, veto <killed the amendment> c :  to mark for omission; also :  delete d :  annihilate, destroy <kill an enemy>

  4. 3 a :  to destroy the vital or essential quality of <killed the pain with drugs> b :  to cause to stop <kill the motor> c :  to check the flow of current through

  5. 4 :  to make a markedly favorable impression on <she killed the audience>

  6. 5 :  to get through uneventfully <kill time>; also :  to get through (the time of a penalty) without being scored on <kill a penalty>

  7. 6 a :  to cause extreme pain to b :  to tire almost to the point of collapse

  8. 7 :  to hit (a shot) so hard in various games that a return is impossible

  9. 8 :  to consume (as a drink) totally

  10. intransitive verb
  11. 1 :  to deprive one of life

  12. 2 :  to make a markedly favorable impression <was dressed to kill>

Examples of kill in a sentence

  1. The disease has killed thousands of people.

  2. Three people were killed in the accident.

  3. a chemical that kills weeds

  4. a disease that can kill

  5. taking drugs to kill the pain

  6. Despite protests, the mayor killed the program.

  7. The committee killed the bill.

  8. This delay has killed our chances of finishing the project on schedule.

  9. She told him to kill the lights.

Origin and Etymology of kill

Middle English, perhaps from Old English *cyllan; akin to Old English cwellan to kill — more at quell

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of kill

kill, slay, murder, assassinate, dispatch, execute mean to deprive of life. kill merely states the fact of death caused by an agency in any manner <killed in an accident> <frost killed the plants>. slay is a chiefly literary term implying deliberateness and violence but not necessarily motive <slew thousands of the Philistines>. murder specifically implies stealth and motive and premeditation and therefore full moral responsibility <convicted of murdering a rival>. assassinate applies to deliberate killing openly or secretly often for political motives <terrorists assassinated the Senator>. dispatch stresses quickness and directness in putting to death <dispatched the sentry with one bullet>. execute stresses putting to death as a legal penalty <executed by lethal gas>.




Definition of kill

  1. 1 a :  an act or instance of killing b :  a decisive act that conclusively secures something (as a deal or win)

  2. 2 :  something killed: as a (1) :  an animal shot in a hunt (2) :  animals killed in a hunt, season, or particular period of time b :  an enemy unit (as an airplane or ship) destroyed by military action c :  a return shot in any of various games (as badminton, handball, or table tennis) that is too hard for an opponent to handle


First Known Use of kill




noun, often capitalized

Definition of kill

  1. :  channel, creek —used chiefly in place names in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York

Origin and Etymology of kill

Dutch kil

First Known Use: 1669

KILL Defined for Kids



verb \ˈkil\

Definition of kill for Students



  1. 1 :  to end the life of :  slay <… she still thought cold weather could kill you in a flash. — Christopher Paul Curtis, The Watsons>

  2. 2 :  to put an end to <Aspirin will kill this headache.>

  3. 3 :  to use up <We still have time to kill.>

  4. 4 :  1defeat 2 <Senators may kill a proposed law.>

  5. 5 :  to cause to become very tired <These long hours are killing me.>




Definition of kill for Students

  1. 1 :  an act of taking the life of a person or animal <The tiger moved in for the kill.>

  2. 2 :  an animal whose life has been taken <A lion is devouring its kill.>

Seen and Heard

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