kill·​ing | \ ˈki-liŋ How to pronounce killing (audio) \

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 How to pronounce killingly (audio) \ adverb

Examples of killing in a Sentence

Noun The oil spill is responsible for the killing of thousands of birds. Adjective 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 In 2014, two officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, were shot dead in their patrol car in Brooklyn by a man upset about recent police killings of unarmed black men. Washington Post, "Gunman ambushes NYC police twice in 12 hours, spawns outrage," 10 Feb. 2020 In 2014, two officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, were shot dead in their patrol car in Brooklyn by a man upset about recent police killings of unarmed black men. NBC News, "2 New York officers shot and wounded within hours in 'assassination' attempts," 9 Feb. 2020 Jakraphanth Thomma, a Thai military sergeant, is suspected of killing his commanding officer before going on the killing spree Saturday in the city of Nakhon Ratchasima at a shopping center. John Gage, Washington Examiner, "Thai soldier kills 20 in mall shooting spree," 8 Feb. 2020 While the city has become a killing field, the homicide unit is staffed by only 45 detectives who are actively working cases. Sean Kennedy, WSJ, "‘The Wire’ Is Finished, but Baltimore Still Bleeds," 7 Feb. 2020 According to Dragos, another ransomware strain known as Megacortex that first appeared last spring included all of the same industrial control system process-killing features, and may in fact be a predecessor to EKANS developed by the same hackers. Andy Greenberg, Wired, "Mysterious New Ransomware Targets Industrial Control Systems," 3 Feb. 2020 The 27-year-old admitted killing Averylee in 2016 – a year after regaining custody of the girl. Kevin Grasha,, "Judge to mom who killed her 4-year-old daughter: 'I hope they never let you out'," 13 Jan. 2020 Increased tension in the Gulf region after America’s killing of an Iranian general caused oil markets to gyrate. The Economist, "Business this week," 9 Jan. 2020 The attack, aimed at two bases in Iraq, was over America’s killing of a top Iranian general. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Rand Paul: 'No excuse' for Iranian missile strike on bases housing US troops," 7 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Keenan was the New York Police Department’s Chief of Detectives during the killing spree, which terrified the city in 1976 and 1977 as an unknown gunman stalked his victims with a .44 caliber handgun, killing six and wounding seven others. Michael R. Sisak, San Diego Union-Tribune, "NYPD commander who took “Son of Sam” confession dead at 99," 20 Sep. 2019 Police reports, witness statements and dispatch logs shared earlier have provided more detail about the confusion and heroism as the concert venue became a killing field. Ken Ritter, Fox News, "Police release more video from officers at Vegas shooting," 13 June 2018 The disturbing confessions of a Louisiana man accused in three 2017 murders reveal a suspect who viewed a killing spree as similar to a deer hunt and who looked at victims as animals he was licensed to kill, police reports show. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Louisiana man accused in three murders says he was filling hunting 'tags' for state police, FBI, officials say," 22 Aug. 2018 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

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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Time Traveler for killing

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for killing

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Killing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for killing


How to pronounce killing (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of killing

: an act of killing someone or something
informal : a large amount of money

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