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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The deadline to enroll in the federal Marketplace is 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 Early voting begins October 7 and ends November 5, and the deadline to return absentee ballots in person is November 6. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "The surge in early voting, explained," 3 Nov. 2018 Related The Trump administration faces a July 26 deadline set by a federal judge in San Diego to reunite children who were separated from family members under its zero-tolerance policy earlier in the spring. Tawnell D. Hobbs, WSJ, "School Districts Prepare for New Immigrant Children," 25 July 2018 This past week, the government scrambled to comply with a July 10 deadline to reunify children under age 5 — a process marked by confusion and chaos. Kristina Davis,, "Trump administration outlines plan to reunify remaining 2,500 separated children," 14 July 2018 To meet a July 26 deadline to complete the reunification process, the government laid out a plan in which Immigration and Customs Enforcement will identify six to eight locations where as many as 200 kids a day will be reunited with parents. Kartikay Mehrotra,, "Reunited immigrant families face difficult choice: try to stay legally or leave children in the US," 14 July 2018 Some 3,000 minors remain in the federal government's custody, with a July 26 deadline looming. Rafael Carranza, azcentral, "Rights group claims family separations continue at border, despite Trump's executive order," 13 July 2018 Each day that passes before the July 31 deadline is a day in which Machado could hit two homers to lead your club to victory. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Haudricourt: Brewers looking to go big with Manny Machado, who is an absolutely perfect fit," 13 July 2018 With three weeks to go before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, everybody seems to think the Phillies need another bat. David Murphy,, "The Phillies need another starter. Could he be pitching tonight? | David Murphy," 10 July 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.

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First Known Use of deadline

1864, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for deadline

Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deadline

The first known use of deadline was in 1864

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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

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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).


by force of circumstances

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