mor·​tal | \ ˈmȯr-tᵊl How to pronounce mortal (audio) \

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



Definition of mortal (Entry 2 of 3)

chiefly dialectal



Definition of mortal (Entry 3 of 3)

: a human being

Choose the Right Synonym for mortal


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
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The challenge of applying hyper-technical medical-ese to our own mortal selves somehow is irresistible. Kent Sepkowitz, CNN, 10 May 2022 One video, running less than two minutes, explains the endowment, an ordinance that includes ritual reenactments of the creation, Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden and humankind’s mortal journey and ultimate return to God’s presence. David Noyce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 9 May 2022 Ammit is trapped inside Harrow's mortal body, but Marc ultimately defies Khonshu and refuses to strike the death blow. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 6 May 2022 In the comics, Jake is a street-wise cab driver, but on the show, the audience comes to suspect — after Mark or Steven has blacked out when their life was in mortal danger — that Jake is capable of blistering acts of overwhelming violence. Adam B. Vary, Variety, 4 May 2022 Egypt is built into the DNA of the show’s mythical figures and its mortal characters, good and bad. Lorraine Alitelevision Critic, Los Angeles Times, 4 May 2022 But with vaccines and treatments, for most people going to a party is no longer a mortal gamble. Megan Molteni, STAT, 29 Apr. 2022 Waverly Place, and the two played best friends — mortal Harper Finkle (Stone) and wizard Alex Russo (Gomez). Fred Sahai, Billboard, 25 Apr. 2022 Amleth’s father is King Aurvandill (Ethan Hawke), freshly home from battle — and suffering from an injury which, if not a mortal wound, has invited some dark reflection on mortality from Aurvandill’s part. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 21 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Embedded in an experimental comedy is the tale of a tragic overreacher, a mortal who has come to assume a godlike dominion over the rest of the planet. Charles Mcnultytheater Critic, Los Angeles Times, 5 Apr. 2022 Semele, a pretty young mortal, caught the eye of Jupiter. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 10 Mar. 2022 Then a mortal named Kid Cudi wanders by with an evenhanded guest verse, reminding us that this music is still of this world. Washington Post, 10 Dec. 2021 Enraged by the mortal’s hubris, the gods seek vengeance and sentence her to an eternity of lower-back pain and overcooked steaks. Laura Mishkin, The New Yorker, 9 July 2021 The all-powerful wizard or a mere mortal — the man behind the curtain? Steven P. Dinkin, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Feb. 2022 While the six-figure sum for the 2002 card may sound high to a mere mortal, Brady cards have gone for far more. Globe Staff,, 2 Feb. 2022 Hardwick explains the aim of mummification: the subject is being transitioned from a mortal into a god. Robin Soslow, Chron, 22 Nov. 2021 Making his Marvel comics debut in 1975, Moon Knight initially had superpowers based on the phases of the moon, but more recent iterations have kept his abilities mortal, aided by sophisticated gadgetry. Adam B. Vary, Variety, 17 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of mortal


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mortal

Adjective and Adverb

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


see human entry 1

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Time Traveler for mortal

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near mortal



mortal combat

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Statistics for mortal

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Mortal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for mortal


mor·​tal | \ ˈmȯr-tᵊl How to pronounce mortal (audio) \

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



Kids Definition of mortal (Entry 2 of 2)

: a human being


mor·​tal | \ ˈmȯrt-ᵊl How to pronounce mortal (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on mortal

Nglish: Translation of mortal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mortal for Arabic Speakers


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