lethal

adjective
le·thal | \ˈlē-thəl \

Definition of lethal 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or causing death death by lethal injection

b : 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

lethal

noun

Definition of lethal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an abnormality of genetic origin causing the death of the organism possessing it

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Other Words from lethal

Adjective

lethality \lē-ˈtha-lə-tē \ noun
lethally \ˈlē-thə-lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for lethal

Synonyms: Adjective

baleful, deadly, deathly, fatal, fell, killer, mortal, murderous, pestilent, terminal, vital

Antonyms: Adjective

healthful, healthy, nonfatal, nonlethal, wholesome

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Choose the Right Synonym for lethal

Adjective

deadly, mortal, fatal, lethal mean causing or capable of causing death. deadly applies to an established or very likely cause of death. a deadly disease mortal implies that death has occurred or is inevitable. a mortal wound fatal stresses the inevitability of what has in fact resulted in death or destruction. fatal consequences lethal applies to something that is bound to cause death or exists for the destruction of life. lethal gas

Examples of lethal in a Sentence

Adjective

a potentially lethal dose of a drug He was sentenced to death by lethal injection.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office discovered lethal levels of Benadryl in his system, new records show. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Woman wanted for grand theft goes missing after her husband dies with lethal levels of Benadryl in his system," 14 July 2018 The central question at Van Dyke’s trial will be whether the veteran officer was justified in his belief that 17-year-old McDonald posed a lethal threat, even though the video showed the teen walking away from police with a knife in his hand. Annie Sweeney, chicagotribune.com, "Activist plans meetings for community to prepare for verdict in Laquan McDonald's killing by police," 9 July 2018 Arceo said Wednesday that the video taken by a neighbor across the street shows San Nicolas was not posing a lethal threat to the police officers. Lynn Horsley, kansascity, "Dashcam video offers better picture of Grandview police shooting, Highway Patrol says," 5 July 2018 Gaudzinski-Windheuser and her colleagues’ experiments don’t rule out the idea that when the situation called for it, Neanderthals threw their spears with lethal effect. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists armed with spears demonstrate how Neanderthals hunted," 28 June 2018 Reaction: Wings fans happy, shocked with drafting Filip Zadina • Analysis: Filip Zadina is a 'lethal' goal-scorer 7. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "2018 NHL draft results: Tracking every first-round pick," 22 June 2018 Nevada is required by law to use lethal injection for executions and some of the batches on hand are set to expire soon. Ken Ritter And Michelle L. Price, Time, "Nevada Delays Its First Execution in 12 Years After a Drug Company Objects," 12 July 2018 Roberts has vocally defended lethal injection from the bench and declined to join Kennedy’s anti-solitary confinement concurrence. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "America under Brett Kavanaugh," 11 July 2018 The last execution in Nevada was in 2006, when Daryl Linnie Mack volunteered for lethal injection for his conviction in a 1988 rape and murder in Reno. Ken Ritter, The Seattle Times, "Nevada switches drug to be used in 1st execution since 2006," 3 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of lethal

Adjective

circa 1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1917, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lethal

Adjective

Latin letalis, lethalis, from letum death

Noun

see lethal entry 1

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Statistics for lethal

Last Updated

3 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lethal

The first known use of lethal was circa 1604

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More Definitions for lethal

lethal

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of lethal

: causing or able to cause death

lethal

adjective
le·thal | \ˈlē-thəl \

Medical Definition of lethal 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or causing death a lethal injury also : capable of causing death lethal chemicals a lethal dose

Other Words from lethal

lethality \lē-ˈthal-ət-ē \ noun plural lethalities
lethally adverb

lethal

noun

Medical Definition of lethal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an abnormality of genetic origin causing the death of the organism possessing it usually before maturity

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More from Merriam-Webster on lethal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lethal

Spanish Central: Translation of lethal

Nglish: Translation of lethal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lethal for Arabic Speakers

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