death

noun
\ ˈdeth How to pronounce death (audio) \

Definition of death

1a : a permanent cessation of all vital (see vital sense 2a) functions : the end of life The cause of death has not been determined. managed to escape death prisoners were put to death death threats — compare brain death
b : an instance of dying a disease causing many deaths lived there until her death
2a : the cause or occasion of loss of life drinking was the death of him
b : a cause of ruin the slander that was death to my character— Wilkie Collins The drought was death to the farm.
3 capitalized, folklore : the destroyer of life represented usually as a skeleton with a scythe when death comes to take me away
4 : the state of being no longer alive : the state of being dead
5a : the passing or destruction of something inanimate the death of vaudeville
b : extinction the death of the dinosaurs
6 law : civil death
7 : slaughter death and destruction
8 Christian Science : the lie of life in matter : that which is unreal and untrue
at death's door
: close to death : critically ill
to death
: beyond endurance : excessively bored to death scared to death of spiders I am sick to death of hearing your excuses. Most high rollers prefer Atlantic City and Las Vegas, where they are comped to death and have more diversions.— William G. Flanagan et al.

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Examples of death in a Sentence

birth, life, and eventual death The newspaper did not report the cause of death. People around the world mourned his death. The accident resulted in two deaths. The number of deaths from cancer is rising. He died a violent death. There has been a death in the family. The general met his death on the battlefield. the death of a marriage Death could be seen lurking in the corner of the painting.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The former Mouseketeer’s death is still currently under investigation by the Oregon State Police. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "Original Mouseketeer Dennis Day Found Dead in His Home Nearly 1 Year After Mysterious Disappearance," 7 June 2019 Another staff member committed suicide shortly afterwards, although inquiries found no evidence that the death was work-related. The Economist, "Charity begins at work," 6 June 2019 Knight’s death is the 128th homicide so far this year, according to the police department, and the 26th homicide in West Baltimore. Juliana Kim, baltimoresun.com, "At vigil for Baltimore 17-year-old, tributes to a dirt bike rider who inspired a neighborhood," 6 June 2019 The latest death could be a blow to Santa Anita’s hope of hosting the Breeders’ Cup on Nov. 1-2. John Cherwa, latimes.com, "Derby River is 27th horse to die since Santa Anita opened meet Dec. 26," 6 June 2019 The death of the climber was the first fatality on the route since 2014, when two guides and four climbers died after falling more than 3,000 feet, according to park officials. CBS News, "Helicopter rescues 4 climbers who were stranded near Mount Rainier summit for days," 6 June 2019 The deaths of nearly two dozen horses have been baffling. Cheri Mossburg And Steve Almasy, CNN, "Another racehorse dies after an injury at Santa Anita Park," 6 June 2019 Derby River's death is the 27th fatality reported in connection to Santa Anita and is the fourth since May 17. Jenna West, SI.com, "27th Racehorse Dies After Sustaining Injury at Santa Anita Park," 6 June 2019 His family’s attorney previously told this news organization that the filing is partially aimed at compelling the sheriff’s office to release evidence that investigators have said supports the conclusion that the death was a suicide. Jason Green, The Mercury News, "Milpitas: Inmate dies of ‘pre-existing medical conditions’ at Elmwood Jail," 5 June 2019

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

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

History and Etymology for death

Middle English deeth, from Old English dēath; akin to Old Norse dauthi death, deyja to die — more at die

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Statistics for death

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for death

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

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More Definitions for death

death

noun

English Language Learners Definition of death

: the end of life : the time when someone or something dies
: the ending of a particular person's life
: the permanent end of something that is not alive : the ruin or destruction of something

death

noun
\ ˈdeth How to pronounce death (audio) \

Kids Definition of death

1 : the end or ending of life
2 : the cause of loss of life Drinking will be the death of him.
3 : the state of being dead He was more famous in death than in life.
4 : ruin entry 2 sense 1, extinction DVDs meant the death of videotape.
to death
: very entry 1 sense 1, extremely We were scared to death.

Other Words from death

deathlike \ -​ˌlīk \ adjective

death

noun
\ ˈdeth How to pronounce death (audio) \

Medical Definition of death

1 : the irreversible cessation of all vital functions especially as indicated by permanent stoppage of the heart, respiration, and brain activity : the end of life — see brain death
2 : the cause or occasion of loss of life drinking was the death of him
3 : the state of being dead in death as in life

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death

noun

Legal Definition of death

: a permanent cessation of all vital bodily functions : the end of life — see also brain death, civil death

Note: Death is usually defined by statute and for purposes of criminal homicide has been held to include brain death.

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More from Merriam-Webster on death

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with death

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for death

Spanish Central: Translation of death

Nglish: Translation of death for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of death for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about death

Comments on death

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