deadly

adjective
dead·​ly | \ ˈded-lē How to pronounce deadly (audio) \
deadlier; deadliest

Definition of deadly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : likely to cause or capable of producing death deadly poison
2a : aiming to kill or destroy : implacable a deadly enemy
b : highly effective a deadly exposé
c : unerring a deadly marksman
d : marked by determination or extreme seriousness
3a : tending to deprive of force or vitality a deadly habit
b : suggestive of death especially in dullness or lack of animation deadly bores a deadly conversation
4 : very great : extreme

deadly

adverb

Definition of deadly (Entry 2 of 2)

1 archaic : in a manner to cause death : mortally
2 : suggesting death
3 : extremely deadly serious

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Other Words from deadly

Adjective

deadliness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for deadly

Adjective

deadly, mortal, fatal, lethal mean causing or capable of causing death. deadly applies to an established or very likely cause of death. a deadly disease mortal implies that death has occurred or is inevitable. a mortal wound fatal stresses the inevitability of what has in fact resulted in death or destruction. fatal consequences lethal applies to something that is bound to cause death or exists for the destruction of life. lethal gas

Examples of deadly in a Sentence

Adjective the world's most deadly snake a more deadly form of the disease They launched a deadly attack. Officers are allowed to use deadly force if necessary. She shoots with deadly accuracy. a basketball player with deadly aim A deadly silence followed his question. The two gang leaders are deadly enemies. He spoke with deadly seriousness. Adverb I'm deadly serious about making an offer on the house.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The agencies most often involved in deadly use-of-force incidents were the Alaska State Troopers and Anchorage Police Department, with 43 and 28 incidents respectively. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "Pioneering study reveals a detailed view of Alaska police officers’ use of deadly force," 27 Apr. 2021 Brown's family and attorneys said Monday they were allowed to see just 20 seconds of body camera footage of the deadly encounter. NBC News, "Andrew Brown Jr. shot five times, once in back of head, according to family-backed autopsy," 27 Apr. 2021 Dykstra added, before deploying a deadly sports insult. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "“John Kerry Is a Traitor” Is the Republicans’ New Dumb Meme," 27 Apr. 2021 Across the country and in North Texas, the public has become accustomed to the quick release of video footage and officers’ names after deadly encounters with law enforcement. Dallas News, "Collin County sheriff fights release of details around Marvin Scott III’s in custody death; 1 jailer reinstated," 27 Apr. 2021 Goines is now facing two counts of felony murder, as well as other charges in both state and federal court, for a deadly 2019 drug raid in which Dennis Tuttle, 59, and his wife, Rhogena Nicholas, 58, were killed. Fox News, "George Floyd 2004 Texas case: Posthumous pardon request submitted for drug arrest," 27 Apr. 2021 That the maneuver was used improperly with such deadly consequences in the Floyd case does not mean it should be disallowed in every instance. Isaac Schorr, National Review, "What a Reasonable Police-Reform Compromise Might Look Like," 27 Apr. 2021 Seven Pasquotank County deputies involved in the April 21 shooting have been placed on administrative leave while the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation probes the circumstances of the deadly encounter. Bill Hutchinson, ABC News, "Independent autopsy shows Andrew Brown was shot 5 times, once in the back of the head: Family," 27 Apr. 2021 The move comes as the Biden administration has announced a slew of actions to address a deadly surge of COVID-19 that has ravaged India's healthcare system. Alexander Tin, CBS News, "U.S. aims to share up to 60 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses with other countries after FDA review," 27 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Some have turned out deadly, leading others to wonder if the events themselves are cursed. BostonGlobe.com, "Explosion in Kingston, N.H., linked to gender-reveal party, police say," 22 Apr. 2021 This is not the first time a poaching incident at Kruger National Park has turned deadly. Jennifer Hassan, Anchorage Daily News, "Elephants trample suspected rhino poacher to death in South African national park," 20 Apr. 2021 This is what made the Camp Fire of 2018 so deadly: Winds accelerated the conflagration through critically dry vegetation so quickly that many in the town of Paradise couldn’t escape. Matt Simon, Wired, "The Humble Shrub That’s Predicting a Terrible Fire Season," 15 Apr. 2021 But in August 2017, a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville that turned deadly inspired her successor, Democrat Catherine Pugh, to order all four taken away. Washington Post, "Four Confederate statues once stood as Baltimore landmarks. Now their pedestals stand ready to send new messages.," 30 Mar. 2021 But in August 2017, a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned deadly inspired her successor, Democrat Catherine Pugh, to order all four taken away. Jonathan M. Pitts, baltimoresun.com, "4 Confederate statues stood as Baltimore landmarks. Now, their pedestals stand ready to send a new message. But what?," 25 Mar. 2021 These blackouts have been stretching on for hours and sometimes even days, exposing thousands of people to deadly cold. Ula Chrobak, Popular Science, "The real story behind the Texas power outages," 18 Feb. 2021 And a couple years ago, one reveal did turn deadly when a family built a pipe bomb that killed a 56-year-old attendee. Lydia Wang, refinery29.com, "When Will Gender Reveal Parties Stop Happening?," 10 Feb. 2021 Whether an avalanche season turns deadly often depends on early season snowfall. The Salt Lake Tribune, "With virus limits at ski resorts, backcountry risks beckon," 5 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deadly.' 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 deadly

Adjective

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

Adverb

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

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Time Traveler for deadly

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for deadly

Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deadly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deadly. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for deadly

deadly

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of deadly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: causing or able to cause death
: extremely accurate and effective
: extreme or complete

deadly

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of deadly (Entry 2 of 2)

: extremely or completely

deadly

adjective
dead·​ly | \ ˈded-lē How to pronounce deadly (audio) \
deadlier; deadliest

Kids Definition of deadly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : causing or capable of causing death deadly poisons
2 : meaning or hoping to kill or destroy deadly enemies
3 : very accurate He shot the arrow with deadly aim.

deadly

adverb

Kids Definition of deadly (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : in a way suggestive of death Her face was deadly pale.
2 : to an extreme degree deadly dull

Choose the Right Synonym for deadly

Adjective

deadly, mortal, and fatal mean causing or capable of causing death. deadly is used of something that is certain or very likely to cause death. The mushroom contains a deadly poison. mortal is used of something that already has caused death or is about to cause death. He received a mortal wound in battle. fatal is used when death is certain to follow. The wounds proved to be fatal.

deadly

adjective
dead·​ly | \ ˈded-lē How to pronounce deadly (audio) \
deadlier; deadliest

Medical Definition of deadly

: likely to cause or capable of causing death a deadly disease a deadly poison a deadly instrument

Other Words from deadly

deadliness \ -​nəs How to pronounce deadly (audio) \ noun

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deadly

adjective
dead·​ly
deadlier; deadliest

Legal Definition of deadly

: likely to cause or capable of causing death also : dangerous sense 2

Note: Deadly and dangerous are sometimes used interchangeably, especially in connection with weapons or instruments.

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Comments on deadly

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