kill·ing | \ˈki-liŋ \

Definition of killing 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act of one that kills

3 : a sudden notable gain or profit made a killing in the stock market



Definition of killing (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : that kills or relates to killing

2 : highly amusing

3 : extremely difficult to deal with the suspense is killing also : calling for great strength, stamina, or endurance a killing schedule

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Other Words from killing


killingly \ˈki-liŋ-lē \ adverb

Examples of killing in a Sentence


The oil spill is responsible for the killing of thousands of birds.


he's usually quiet, but occasionally unleashes some killing remark that cracks everyone up a killing schedule that requires the touring company to play in a different city every night
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The 19-year-old suspect, who is not named in the statement, allegedly confessed to the killings. Chris Harris,, "Father, 4-Year-Old Son Fatally Shot with Hunting Rifle — as Mom Is Chased to Her Death Off Ravine," 10 July 2018 Police were alerted to the shooting by a woman who had received a text message from Brazier who admitted to the killings and threatened to commit suicide as well. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Alabama woman fatally shot by ex-husband had twice asked judge to take his guns away," 4 July 2018 Plowden’s relatives say they are baffled by the assertion that the car Plowden was driving was tied to a killing. Julie Shaw,, "6 months after Philly police shot unarmed man, widow still seeks answers," 27 June 2018 Police arrested Diaz on a warrant for first- and second-degree murder and robbery related to the killing of Craig Berumen. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "Woman wanted in 2017 Anchorage killing arrested after traffic stop," 25 June 2018 Roxanne Amick’s death in 2006 went unsolved for almost a decade until new DNA matching techniques bolstered circumstantial evidence tying her husband, Michael Amick, to the killing. Ian Duncan,, "Ex-Baltimore County man tied to wife's decade-old murder by DNA evidence is sentenced to 30 years," 22 June 2018 The Indiana Supreme Court will not look over a man’s appeal in a decades old case linked to the killing of an off-duty Hammond police officer. Becky Jacobs, Post-Tribune, "Indiana Supreme Court denies review of man's appeal in 1980 Hammond cop killing case," 20 June 2018 In May, Moore used the public database to help police arrest a 55-year-old Washington man linked to the 1987 killing of a young Canadian couple. Julian Hattem,, "Investigators say DNA database can be goldmine for old cases," 16 June 2018 Fielder was twice brought to trial on charges related to the 2015 killing of an Overland Park woman, but went free after two juries could not reach a unanimous verdict. Steve Vockrodt, Lynn Horsley And Andy Marso, kansascity, "Tragedy strikes KCK law enforcement again: one sheriff deputy slain, another critical," 15 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The release last week of about 2,100 pages of police reports, witness statements and dispatch logs provided more detail about the chaos, confusion and heroism as the concert venue became a killing field. Washington Post, "Video shows police response, fleeing crowd at Vegas attack," 30 May 2018 The cast sculpture comprises two main pieces, interlocking where the mouth of the lion meets the neck of the dog — the killing moment frozen in time. New York Times, "Charles Ray, Walking a Fine Line With a Hungry Lion," 13 May 2018 Earlier this year, a forensic linguist shed new light on letters supposedly written by the murderer during the killing spree that sent shockwaves through Victorian London. James Rogers, Fox News, "Chilling 'I am Jack the Ripper' postcard resurfaces," 26 Apr. 2018 Grace believes Carl, who may have dementia, murdered her sister years ago during a killing spree. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "5 new mysteries to read this summer," 17 May 2018 The Riverside man also bought Farook an explosive powder that was used in a bomb that Farook left at the killing scene, authorities said. Fox News, "25 years urged for buyer of rifles used in terror attack," 10 Apr. 2018 Prediction for the season: What's next for Salazar, the former Sombra Negra soldier who was last seen in the thick of a killing spree? Josh Wigler, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Fear the Walking Dead': Where Everyone Left Off and What's Next (After the Big Crossover)," 8 Apr. 2018 The broader trends offer no surprises: executions are down, but Texas is still the nation's killingest state. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "71 percent of scheduled executions not carried out in 2017," 20 Dec. 2017 Some may call it killing time; Ms. Shestakovskaia thinks of it as research. Bonnie Wertheim, New York Times, "The Maximalists Are Coming," 4 Oct. 2017

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Phrases Related to killing

the suspense is killing me

Statistics for killing

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for killing

The first known use of killing was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for killing



English Language Learners Definition of killing

: an act of killing someone or something

: a large amount of money

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Comments on killing

What made you want to look up killing? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not any or not one

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