Definition of death
1a : a permanent cessation of all vital (see vital 1b) 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 deathb : 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 himb : 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
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
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.
Origin and Etymology of death
Middle English deeth, from Old English dēath; akin to Old Norse dauthi death, deyja to die — more at die
First Known Use: before 12th century
DEATH Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of death for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of death for Students
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
Additional Notes on death
Death is usually defined by statute and for purposes of criminal homicide has been held to include brain death.
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