dead

adjective
\ ˈded How to pronounce dead (audio) \

Definition of dead

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : deprived of life : no longer alive a dead tree dead soldiers missing and presumed dead
2a(1) : having the appearance of death : deathly in a dead faint
(2) : lacking power to move, feel, or respond : numb my arm feels dead
b : very tired Our legs were completely dead after the hike.
c(1) : incapable of being stirred emotionally or intellectually : unresponsive a heart dead to pity felt dead inside
(2) : grown cold : extinguished dead coals
3a : inanimate, inert dead matter
b : barren, infertile dead soil
c : no longer producing or functioning : exhausted a dead battery
4a(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c : no longer active : extinct a dead volcano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 The city is dead after five o'clock.
(2) : commercially idle or unproductive dead capital
f : lacking elasticity (see elasticity sense 1a) a dead tennis ball
g : being out of action or out of use The phone went dead. specifically, electrical engineering : free from any connection to a source of voltage and free from electric charges a dead electrical circuit
h(1) sports, games : being out of play a dead ball
(2) croquet : temporarily forbidden to play or to make a certain play
5a : not running or circulating : stagnant dead water
b : not turning the dead center of a lathe
c mechanical engineering : not imparting motion or power although otherwise functioning a dead rear axle
d : lacking warmth, vigor, or taste The fire was dead. a dead wine
6a : absolutely uniform a dead level of mediocrity
b(1) : unerring a dead shot with a rifle
(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
7 : devoid of former occupants dead villages
dead in the water
1 : incapable of being effective : stalled peace talks were dead in the water
2 : 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

dead

noun
plural dead

Definition of dead (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : someone who is no longer alive : one that is dead (see dead entry 1 sense 1) usually used collectively They were among the dead.
2 : the state of being dead raised him from the dead — Colossians 2:12 (Revised Standard Version)
3 : the time of greatest quiet the dead of night

dead

adverb

Definition of dead (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : absolutely, utterly dead certain finished dead last The room became dead quiet.— Farley Mowat
2 : suddenly and completely stopped dead in his tracks
3 : directly dead ahead

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Other Words from dead

Adjective

deadness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for dead

Synonyms: Adjective

asleep, breathless, cold, deceased, defunct, demised, departed, fallen, gone, late, lifeless, low

Synonyms: Noun

deadness, death, grave, lifelessness, nothingness, sleep

Synonyms: Adverb

direct, directly, due, plumb, plump, right, straight, straightway

Antonyms: Adjective

alive, animate, breathing, going, live, living, quick

Antonyms: Noun

existence, life

Antonyms: Adverb

indirectly

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Choose the Right Synonym for dead

Adjective

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 (such 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

Examples of dead in a Sentence

Adjective

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

Noun

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

Adverb

She's dead certain that she can finish the job. We were dead tired by the end of the day. He's not joking. In fact, he's dead serious. They were both dead drunk and passed out on the floor. She finished the race dead last.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Twenty-four hours after the party, he was found dead in his apartment. Yoree Koh, WSJ, "The Tech Whiz Behind Vine and HQ Trivia Made Millions in His 20s. He Was Dead by 34.," 15 Feb. 2019 Aspiring actress Elizabeth Short was found dead in 1947, and posthumously nicknamed the Black Dahlia. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The True Story of I Am the Night: How the Black Dahlia and George Hodel Were Connected," 10 Feb. 2019 Three days after she was booked into the jail on a Friday, Sandy was found dead in her cell on July 13, 2015. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Sandra Bland's Family Talks Fighting for the Complete Truth in New "Say Her Name" Documentary," 3 Dec. 2018 Two days later on Easter Sunday, Jesus proved his victory over sin and death by rising from the dead. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "When Is Good Friday? Here's Everything You Need to Know," 13 Feb. 2019 But aside from the snapping of the photographers' cameras, the venue was dead quiet as the duo walked down the stairs and approached their seats in the front row. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton and Prince William Joke About the Awkward Silence During Their BAFTAs Entrance," 12 Feb. 2019 Medical staff at the hospital were unable to revive him, and the boy was pronounced dead at 11:48 p.m. An autopsy is pending. Dan Frosch, WSJ, "Homeland Security Steps Up Medical Services for Migrants After Two Children Die," 26 Dec. 2018 The car's passengers, many of whom are found either inside or near the vehicle, are pronounced dead at the scene. Glamour, "Broken Harts, Episode 1: Fear," 4 Dec. 2018 She was pronounced dead at 7:44 a.m. on November 29th. Nancy Bilyeau, Town & Country, "What Really Happened to Natalie Wood?," 29 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There's no better time for a tropical getaway than the dead of winter. Nicola Fumo, Town & Country, "What to Pack for Every Type of Holiday Trip," 21 Dec. 2018 Temperatures below freezing can damage the shrubs, which is Mother Nature’s way of doing the pruning for us but when the dead is removed, the plants quickly grow back. Tom Maccubbin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Caterpillar invasion isn't end for healthy tree," 14 July 2018 The absence of children and women hints that the dead constituted an unsuccessful attacking, rather than attacked, group. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "7,000-Year-Old German Grave Shows New Side of Neolithic Brutality," 11 July 2018 The book of the dead is expanding rapidly now that prices have collapsed across the crypto market. Fortune, "Crypto Coin Graveyard Fills Up Fast as ICOs Meet Their Demise," 28 June 2018 The city of Deerfield Beach has started building the park that will honor the dead buried at the only place where blacks could be interred into the 1960s. Anne Geggis, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Once forgotten, 'Old Colored Cemetery' turns into a place of honor," 23 June 2018 Just as the living have preferences, the dead may prefer some devices over others, so make sure to have several options available. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "A Beginner’s Guide to Communicating With Spirits on the Other Side," 19 June 2018 Dressed in a lavender Saks Potts coat, Cardi committed to a pastel color scheme from head to toe—creating a spring palette that seems even more refreshing in the dead of February. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Cardi B Embraces Early Spring With a Coordinated Pastel Beauty Look," 2 Feb. 2019 But can it be done in the dead of winter, and on the East Coast, where full coverage is crucial for survival? Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Blake Lively Beats the Winter Chill With a Killer Leg Reveal," 11 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Hundreds of miles from Orlando's Pulse Nightclub massacre, where more than 100 people lay dead or wounded, Tim Hewitt and his friends in Kansas City wanted to do something, anything, to help. Aaron Randle, kansascity, "'Completely unreasonable': Gay men can donate blood — if they give up sex," 1 July 2018 Dozens more were injured in the March 22, 2017 attack carried out by 52-year-old Khalid Masood, who was shot dead after crashing his car and rushing onto the Parliament grounds. Gregory Katz, The Seattle Times, "UK inquest begins into attack on bridge, Parliament," 10 Sep. 2018 Reggie suddenly stops dead in his tracks, his eyes glued to a dog park. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "The startup world’s cuddly, cutthroat battle to walk your dog," 12 Sep. 2018 Eventually, two white men, both dead now, went on trial for the murder. Mary Schmich, chicagotribune.com, "The painful and necessary growth Emmett Till gave us," 13 July 2018 Mila’s loneliness grows substantially worse when her BFF is found dead the same week as two mean girls from their school, June and Dayton, off themselves in a suicide pact. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Four hot novels for teens to dive into this summer vacation," 3 July 2018 This is the same home where in February, a fan was shot dead after breaking into Free's home. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Meet the Slow Mo Guys, at 343,000 frames a second," 13 Apr. 2018 Whenever the show returns to it, the momentum stops dead. Laura Collins-hughes, New York Times, "Review: ‘Folk Wandering,’ a Wistful Musical Full of Story and Searching," 4 Mar. 2018 Magill urged listeners not to touch frozen iguanas, warning that even those that appear dead may thaw out and become dangerous to humans. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Here's What to Do If Frozen Iguanas Start Falling From Your Trees," 6 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dead.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dead

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dead

Adjective, Noun, and Adverb

Middle English deed, from Old English dēad; akin to Old Norse dauthr dead, deyja to die, Old High German tōt dead — more at die

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Statistics for dead

Last Updated

11 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dead

The first known use of dead was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for dead

dead

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of dead

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: no longer alive or living : no longer having life
: not able to feel or move
: very tired

dead

noun

English Language Learners Definition of dead (Entry 2 of 3)

: people who have died
: the state of being dead
: the time in the middle of the night or winter

dead

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of dead (Entry 3 of 3)

: completely or totally
: in a sudden and complete way
: directly or exactly

dead

adjective
\ ˈded How to pronounce dead (audio) \

Kids Definition of dead

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : no longer living … the spider rolled over onto its back, unmarked, but unmistakably dead.— J. K. Rowling, Goblet of Fire
2 : having the look of death a dead faint
4 : very tired That was hard work. I'm dead.
5 : lacking motion, activity, energy, or power to function a dead battery
6 : no longer in use dead languages
7 : no longer active a dead volcano
8 : lacking warmth or vigor Make sure the fire is dead.
9 : not lively This party is dead.
10 : accurate, precise a dead shot
11 : being sudden and complete The ride came to a dead stop.
12 : complete entry 1 sense 1, total dead silence
13 : facing certain punishment If we get caught, we're dead.

dead

noun
plural dead

Kids Definition of dead (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a person who is no longer alive
Hint: This sense of dead is usually used for all people who are no longer alive.
the living and the dead
2 : the time of greatest quiet or least activity the dead of night

dead

adverb

Kids Definition of dead (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : in a whole or complete manner dead tired
2 : suddenly and completely stopped dead
3 : straight entry 2 sense 2 dead ahead

dead

adjective
\ ˈded How to pronounce dead (audio) \

Medical Definition of dead

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : deprived of life : having died dead of scarlet fever
2 : lacking power to move, feel, or respond : numb

dead

noun
plural dead

Medical Definition of dead (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that is dead usually used collectively

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More from Merriam-Webster on dead

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dead

Spanish Central: Translation of dead

Nglish: Translation of dead for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dead for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dead

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