dead·​line | \ ˈded-ˌlīn How to pronounce deadline (audio) \

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Entering the weekend, the Padres were the biggest story in baseball, following a massive trade deadline centered on their blockbuster acquisition of Juan Soto. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 8 Aug. 2022 And, true to form, even the Legislature’s final efforts came late, finishing after 10 a.m. on Aug. 1, well after what was supposed to have been a midnight deadline on July 31. Emma Platoff,, 8 Aug. 2022 Why First Inevitably, someone will miss a deadline, send an email blast with a typo in the subject line or generally miss the mark. Kate Gibbons, Forbes, 4 Aug. 2022 But then something comes along, like a lifeline or a deadline, or something like that. Chris Richards, Washington Post, 3 Aug. 2022 The board expedited that vote in part to provide a cushion ahead of a mid-April deadline to submit an accreditation report to the alliance. Tom Daykin, Journal Sentinel, 2 Aug. 2022 In the pending federal civil petition, Hay has a deadline to submit a brief by Tuesday of this week urging Beckerman to adopt certain findings on the overall prison conditions and then determine if any relief is warranted. oregonlive, 1 Aug. 2022 The language was shipped to Republican Gov. Charlie Baker early Monday after lawmakers blew past a midnight deadline when they were supposed to end their formal session. Fox News, 1 Aug. 2022 Robinson is carefully considering the case and isn’t held to a deadline. Rob Maaddi, ajc, 29 July 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of deadline

1864, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About deadline

Time Traveler for deadline

Time Traveler

The first known use of deadline was in 1864

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near deadline



dead load

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for deadline

Last Updated

12 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Deadline.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for deadline


dead·​line | \ ˈded-ˌlīn How to pronounce deadline (audio) \

Kids Definition of deadline

: a date or time by which something must be done

More from Merriam-Webster on deadline

Nglish: Translation of deadline for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deadline for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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