Definition of lethal
1a : of, relating to, or causing death death by lethal injectionb : capable of causing death lethal chemicals
2 : gravely damaging or destructive : devastating a lethal attack on his reputation
3 : very potent or effective a lethal fastball; also : having a high alcohol content a lethal rum punch
lethalityplay \lē-ˈtha-lə-tē\ noun
lethallyplay \ˈlē-thə-lē\ adverb
Examples of lethal in a Sentence
a potentially lethal dose of a drug
He was sentenced to death by lethal injection.
Recent Examples of lethal from the Web
Christians, meanwhile, accuse Mr El-Rufai of siding with Muslim herders over lethal clashes with farmers in southern Kaduna.
The counselor used physical force to defend himself while an officer fired a less-lethal round at the inmate, Davies said.
Fifty-three Democrats, sensing a lethal threat to their party, fled to Oklahoma, denying Craddick a quorum.
The telltale blue flash that followed gave Slotin enough radiation to kill him five times over, and the seven observers in the room received doses ranging from nearly lethal to benign.
But the sense of a growing danger of jihadist attacks, even if there aren’t actually more or more lethal attacks, creates the sense that the governments are unable to control the threat on their own.
Nearly 1,300 children aged 0 to 17 are killed by gunshots each year in the US, and nearly 5,800 more suffer from non-lethal gunshot wounds, researchers estimate in a study published Monday in Pediatrics.
Forecasters advised residents to reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening and authorities also warned against leaving children or pets in parked cars, which can heat up to lethal levels in just minutes.
There will be increased demands for reform and review of lethal-use laws, more de-escalation training for police and more awareness of how implicit bias can influence how a police officer reacts and handles a situation.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lethal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of lethal
Latin letalis, lethalis, from letum death
First Known Use: circa 1604See Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of lethal
Definition of lethal
1 : an abnormality of genetic origin causing the death of the organism possessing it
2 : lethal gene
LETHAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of lethal for English Language Learners
: causing or able to cause death
Medical Definition of lethal
1: an abnormality of genetic origin causing the death of the organism possessing it usually before maturity
2: lethal gene
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up lethal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).