dead·​line | \ -ˌlīn \

Definition of deadline

1 : a line drawn within or around a prison that a prisoner passes at the risk of being shot
2a : a date or time before which something must be done
b : the time after which copy is not accepted for a particular issue of a publication
on deadline or under deadline
: with the requirement of meeting a deadline working on deadline

Examples of deadline in a Sentence

She worked on her composition right up until the deadline. We had to hurry to meet the deadline. The project was completed a week past its deadline. The deadline for submitting college applications is April 19th. They're working under a deadline.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

That is aimed at stymying attempts by her government to run down the clock to the March deadline. Max Colchester, WSJ, "British Politics Spins Wheels Over Brexit," 10 Jan. 2019 The Times reported that in the run-up to the reporting deadline, donor Christopher Kim contributed 69 times. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Putin or the Democrats? For some today it's not so easy," 19 July 2018 Another four young children had been reunited with parents prior to the deadline, Meekins said. Daniel González, azcentral, "Feds say 34 immigrant children to be reunited with parents; no timetable for others," 10 July 2018 From startling misunderstandings to hitting up against major deadlines, the album changed hands again, and at the end, Roy Bittan took the baton for some final touches. Jason Scott, Billboard, "'Car Wheels on a Gravel Road' Turns 20: Lucinda Williams & Producer Steve Earle Reflect on Her Masterpiece," 30 June 2018 By law, Azar faces an 8 July deadline, but such deadlines have been missed in the past. Meredith Wadman, Science | AAAS, "U.S. Health secretary under pressure to approve screening of newborns for fatal genetic disease," 28 June 2018 Ahead of that deadline, the pressure is on for Republicans — who still have majorities in both chambers — to get something through Congress that is more palatable to Trump. Li Zhou, Vox, "Wednesday is day 5 of a partial government shutdown. It could go on for a while.," 26 Dec. 2018 The only way to make sure you're covered at the beginning of the new year is to sign up before the deadline (December 15!). Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Heads Up: You Can Still Sign Up for Obamacare and Open Enrollment Is Going On Right Now," 14 Nov. 2018 Packed schedules, tight deadlines, and lots of travel are just three of the things that can leave influencers, writers, and editors feeling and looking exhausted. Leah Melby Clinton, Marie Claire, "The Essentials You Need for 700+ Miles of Fashion Week," 6 Nov. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of deadline

1864, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about deadline

Statistics for deadline

Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deadline

The first known use of deadline was in 1864

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for deadline



English Language Learners Definition of deadline

: a date or time when something must be finished : the last day, hour, or minute that something will be accepted


dead·​line | \ ˈded-ˌlīn \

Kids Definition of deadline

: a date or time by which something must be done

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on deadline

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deadline

Spanish Central: Translation of deadline

Nglish: Translation of deadline for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deadline for Arabic Speakers

Comments on deadline

What made you want to look up deadline? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a complex dispute or argument

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!