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c : no longer active : extinct a dead volcano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

Even if that were true, the dragon would still be dead. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Game of Thrones Season 8: 18 Fan Theories to Know," 18 Mar. 2019 Google’s lunar moonshot contest may be dead, but that’s not stopping one company from trying to complete the goal anyway. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "A Private Mission Hopes to Reach the Lunar Surface Without Help from Any Governments," 19 Feb. 2019 She's known to be dead after she was killed in a mortar attack, but her body was never found, which could mean anything in the world of NCIS. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Here's Why 'NCIS' Can't Air the Mysterious Ziva Episode Tonight as Planned," 5 Feb. 2019 On Friday, Saudi state media reported that Khashoggi was dead — and that he was killed in a fight. Fox News, "Khashoggi's fiancée under police protection, Turkish media report," 22 Oct. 2018 She was later found dead by apparent suicide in a hotel room in Rockford, Illinois, with a note reading that Timmothy was with others and would never be found. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "The FBI Says a Man Who Claimed to Be Missing Boy Timmothy Pitzen Is Not Him," 4 Apr. 2019 Félicité Tomlinson, who has been found dead at the age of 18, reportedly suffered a heart attack and died at her home in London on Wednesday, TMZ reports. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "BREAKING: Louis Tomlinson's Sister Félicité Tomlinson Found Dead at 18," 15 Mar. 2019 And not one of them would be caught dead in a Meyer-esque sheath or stiletto. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Political Fashion Doesn’t Look Like Veep—But Maybe It Should," 1 Apr. 2019 Solidarity is especially important when, like last week, people were shot dead while practicing their faith. Brittany Packnett, Teen Vogue, "We Can’t Just Show Up For Social Justice Issues When It Impacts Our Own Lives," 21 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

One of those was the practice of cremating the dead, which shows up, along with copper grave goods, at sites from the Great Lakes to Tennessee. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Find shows 4,000-year-old trade routes stretched from Carolinas to Great Lakes," 31 July 2018 Grilling happens in the dead of winter, and patio furniture is used in all four seasons. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "8 Signs You Grew Up In A California House," 19 July 2018 Huge, dread towers to the Nazi dead, based on the Tannenberg Memorial, rise across Europe. Darran Anderson, The Atlantic, "The Cities That Never Existed," 17 June 2018 Some of the missing could be among the dead who have yet to be identified, or among the thousands of people who had been evacuated, officials said. Anthony Harrup, WSJ, "Guatemalan Volcano Emits More Ash, Rock as Death Toll Rises," 8 June 2018 Among the dead are residents who were too poor to afford funeral costs, unclaimed bodies and patients from the county's insane asylum. Nereida Moreno, latimes.com, "Challenge at Chicago school construction site: Watch for 38,000 unmarked graves," 15 Apr. 2018 Among the dead are Broncos head coach Darcy Haugan, team captain Logan Schatz and radio announcer Tyler Bieber. Houston Chronicle, "15 die when truck collides with hockey team's bus in Canada," 7 Apr. 2018 As their day ends, the men of the civil-defense team perform the Islamic prayer for the dead and return the nine bodies to the earth—still anonymous but in a more appropriate resting spot. Raja Abdulrahim, WSJ, "To Rebuild a Syrian City, Men First Dig Up and Rebury the Dead," 26 Oct. 2018 The protests forced Ortega to withdraw cuts to social security payments, and demonstrators are now demanding justice for the dead and greater democracy. Fox News, "Church sets dialogue with Nicaragua's government this week," 14 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Within minutes, the groups would engage in a back-and-forth, and Ortiz-Cameron would end up dead from a single gunshot wound to the head. Erin Mccarthy, Philly.com, "Arrest made in Phoenixville Dunkin' Donuts slaying of boy, 15. Shooter still at large, police say," 1 May 2018 The reason for the snafu stems from a bureaucratic jumble involving different airline contractors and a flight path that was filed dead wrong. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "A British Airways Flight From London to Germany Accidentally Landed in Scotland," 25 Mar. 2019 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

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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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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