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

Prior to her death in February 2019, Radziwill had spent more than 30 years in her spacious New York City apartment, which served as a primary residence in addition to her homes in London and Paris. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Inside Lee Radziwill's Energetic Upper East Side Apartment," 8 May 2019 Until his death last year, Mr. McCain had stood out as one of the few sitting Republican senators willing to publicly challenge Mr. Trump. Siobhan Hughes, WSJ, "Senators Jump to McCain’s Defense in Response to Trump’s Attacks," 20 Mar. 2019 For his persuasiveness, Patrick—who founded schools, churches, and monasteries throughout the Emerald Isle before his death on March 17, 461—was granted sainthood. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, "Here's the Real History of St Patrick's Day," 15 Mar. 2019 As chronicled in a 2016 Buzzfeed News article by Michelle Dean, Dee Dee appeared to be a model parent before her death, tirelessly taking care of her chronically ill daughter. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prepare for your next true crime obsession.," 8 Mar. 2019 Both couples want to raise awareness in an area that still isn't always discussed openly, yet is very personal for the two brothers: Their mother, Princess Diana, talked openly about her mental health struggles before her early death. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "The Royal Family's Most Emotional, Revealing Quotes About Their Mental Health," 27 Feb. 2019 Before his death, The Princess Diaries director Garry Marshall opened up to People about a possible idea in the script. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Everything We Know About "The Princess Diaries 3"," 6 Feb. 2019 Before its death, the probe sent back all sorts of data on the atmosphere and rings of Saturn. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Saturn's Rings Are Much Younger Than You Might Think," 18 Jan. 2019 Even before his death, Bush’s pragmatism had been elevated to full-blown statesmanship. Julia Azari, Vox, "Death of a statesman: George H.W. Bush’s legacy," 6 Dec. 2018

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

14 May 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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