Essential Meaning of death
1 : the end of life : the time when someone or something dies birth, life, and eventual death fear of death See More ExamplesShe is close to death. [=she will die soon] death threats The hostage managed to escape death. [=avoid being killed] The newspaper did not report the cause of death. She was convicted of murder and sentenced/condemned to death. [=told that she would be killed as punishment]
2 : the ending of a particular person's life People around the world mourned his death. She worked at the newspaper until her death at (age) 74. See More ExamplesThe accident resulted in two deaths. The number of deaths from cancer is rising. He died a violent/tragic death. There has been a death in the family. She survived the plane crash and many years later died a natural death. [=from natural causes; because she was old] The general met his death on the battlefield.
3 : the permanent end of something that is not alive : the ruin or destruction of something the death of innocence the death of vaudeville the death of a marriage
Full Definition of 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 doorto death
: close to death : critically ill
: 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.
Love words? Need even more definitions?Merriam-Webster unabridged
Words at Play
Ask the Editors