mortal

adjective
mor·​tal | \ˈmȯr-tᵊl \

Definition of mortal 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : causing or having caused death : fatal a mortal injury

2a : subject to death mortal man Every living creature is mortal.

b : possible, conceivable have done every mortal thing

c : deadly sense 3 waited three mortal hours

3 : marked by unrelenting hostility a mortal enemy

4 : marked by great intensity or severity mortal fear

5 : human mortal limits a nobody with an all too mortal longing to be a somebodyTime

6 : of, relating to, or connected with death mortal agony

mortal

adverb

Definition of mortal (Entry 2 of 3)

chiefly dialectal

mortal

noun

Definition of mortal (Entry 3 of 3)

: a human being

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for mortal

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 mortal in a Sentence

Adjective

Every living creature is mortal. He suffered a mortal wound in the battle.

Noun

stories about gods interfering in the lives of mortals the troubles that come to ordinary mortals
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

What does work is the movie’s remaining third — mostly the final 20 minutes — where nearly every character is in some kind of mortal danger but has a hard time finding anyone who’ll take them seriously because of the general holiday craziness. Noel Murray, The Verge, "Hulu’s horror anthology Into the Dark represents the good and bad sides of Blumhouse Productions," 5 Oct. 2018 The complaint depicts an organization in mortal peril, whose lack of access to basic financial instruments could threaten its very existence. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "The National Rifle Association, America’s most powerful lobby, claims it’s in financial crisis. What?," 3 Aug. 2018 Nope, that honor (or dishonor) goes to the toxic masculinity Sabrina, her aunts, and her friends battle in both the mortal and witch worlds. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Is Dark and Scary, But Not in the Way You Think," 26 Oct. 2018 On Thursday, Deadline announced that black-ish creator Kenya Barris sold a reboot of the classic 1960s series about a witch named Samantha who struggles to keep her spells a secret from her mortal husband, Darrin. Eileen Reslen, Country Living, "A 'Bewitched' Reboot Is in the Works and It Sounds Absolutely Magical," 23 Aug. 2018 Turns out Prime Minister Najib Razak is quite skilled at the mortal combat required for public life, despite his stately manner and posh, accented English. Bloomberg.com, "Surviving the Game of Thrones That Is Malaysian Politics," 27 Apr. 2018 At first glance, Waters' stat sheet numbers against the Hogs seem rather mortal - 8 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds. Andrew Lopez, NOLA.com, "Xavier Lewis, Caleb Roddy not returning to LSU football program," 10 Jan. 2018 The memoir is written in a Boys’ Own style: Though beset by wild beasts and mortal peril, Aldred makes it to the top. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Shaking the Tree," 30 May 2018 There is a heist aboard a speeding train, on an elevated mountain track, that has nothing to do with outer space and plenty to do with avoiding mortal peril by a whisker: precisely the sort of rampant gamble that Dr. Jones used to enjoy. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“Solo: A Star Wars Story” and “How to Talk to Girls at Parties”," 4 June 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Metals and mortals could both be made more pure by freeing that little bit of divine spirit hidden in nature. Meg Neal, Popular Mechanics, "The Eternal Quest for Aether, the Cosmic Stuff That Never Was," 19 Oct. 2018 It is even considered to be a bridge between mortals and gods, because fire is one of the four elements that humans can make themselves. Anna Pulley, RedEye Chicago, "Ask Anna: I'm consumed by a woman. How do I deal?," 30 Oct. 2017 And the hallucinatory spirit that has made a fool of many a mortal is making a monkey of me. Mark Seal, WSJ, "The Tequila Gold Rush," 19 June 2018 The scientific and health ramifications of this work rock my world—both as a mortal being and as a science-fiction writer. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "Ars on your lunch break: The ins and outs of genomics with George Church, part 2," 13 June 2018 James could play like a mortal, his shooters could remain cold or his centers could be neutralized on the glass. Ben Golliver, SI.com, "Silver Linings Emerge for Cavs After One of ‘Toughest Losses’ of LeBron James's Career," 3 June 2018 Because according to Kim's latest post on her website, us mere mortals needn't spend our rent money to get to Kardashian-level beauty, because her favorite makeup product is actually a drugstore formula that costs just $6. Alex Warner, Marie Claire, "Kim Kardashian Admits That Her Favorite Mascara Is Only $6," 3 Apr. 2018 Lee, a paleoanthropologist, tells us much about our evolutionary origins by sorting through our ancestors’ mortal remains. New York Times, "New & Noteworthy," 20 Feb. 2018 But even mere mortals can bike here, and University Bicycles is the place to start. Melanie D.g. Kaplan, chicagotribune.com, "Boulder, Colorado, does things its own way," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mortal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of mortal

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mortal

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French mortel, mortal, from Latin mortalis, from mort-, mors death — more at murder

Adverb

see mortal entry 1

Noun

see human entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mortal

Statistics for mortal

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mortal

The first known use of mortal was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mortal

mortal

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of mortal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: certain to die

: causing death

: possibly causing death

mortal

noun

English Language Learners Definition of mortal (Entry 2 of 2)

: a human being

mortal

adjective
mor·​tal | \ˈmȯr-tᵊl \

Kids Definition of mortal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : capable of causing death a mortal wound

2 : certain to die We all are mortal.

3 : feeling great and lasting hatred a mortal enemy

4 : very great or overpowering mortal fear

5 : human entry 1 sense 1 mortal power

Other Words from mortal

mortally adverb mortally afraid

mortal

noun

Kids Definition of mortal (Entry 2 of 2)

: a human being

mortal

adjective
mor·​tal | \ˈmȯrt-ᵊl \

Medical Definition of mortal 

1 : having caused or being about to cause death : fatal a mortal injury

2 : of, relating to, or connected with death mortal agony

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on mortal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mortal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mortal

Spanish Central: Translation of mortal

Nglish: Translation of mortal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mortal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on mortal

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

WORD OF THE DAY

living or existing for a long time

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!