mortal

adjective
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

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

Matters are further complicated when a young, mortal suitor (Andy Samberg) enters the mix. Gabe Cohn, New York Times, "What’s on TV Saturday: ‘Baby Driver’ and ‘Short Term 12’," 14 July 2018 With LeBron looking mortal, the Warriors looking unstoppable, and the Celtics emerging as a long-term threat, James's future as the NBA's alpha male is suddenly in question. Andrew Sharp, SI.com, "What If LeBron Never Wins Another NBA Title?," 16 May 2018 Superman) was always saving him, which made his little brother his mortal alter ego. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "The Best 'This Is Us' Recap of Episode 10 From Season 3," 16 Jan. 2019 MoviePass ran into problems after a hefty price reduction led to rapid subscriber growth that placed the company in mortal financial peril. Jon Porter, The Verge, "MoviePass will launch three new subscription plans in January," 6 Dec. 2018 Aircraft carriers have reigned supreme since 1945, and those in the United States' fleet have not faced a mortal threat since V-J Day. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "As It Begins Its Second Century, Is the Aircraft Carrier Obsolete?," 5 Nov. 2018 At the same time, there is a history of lawsuits that most legal experts thought were unpersuasive nonetheless putting ACA in mortal danger — first the lawsuit against the individual mandate and then the challenge to insurance subsidies. Sarah Kliff, Vox, "Federal court rules Obamacare unconstitutional — but the law stands for now," 15 Dec. 2018 In the mortal world, Diwali, which falls on a different day between October and November each year, is intended to serve in part as a spiritual palette cleanser between the close of one year and the start of another. Noor Brara, Vogue, "Celebrating Diwali, in Light of the Midterms," 10 Nov. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Art and its makers can be as ephemeral as ordinary matter and mortals. Willard Spiegelman, WSJ, "A Prophetic Paean to Progress," 1 Mar. 2019 Along with the papal treasures, the Met show includes garments for more ordinary mortals by designers spanning Azzedine Alia to Vivienne Westwood, all set against the backdrop of the Met’s collection of medieval and religious artwork. Washington Post, "Vatican, Versace and Vogue team up for Met’s spring exhibit," 26 Feb. 2018 Dion reveals a depth of emotion that seems inconceivable to us cynical mortals. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Céline Dion's Reactions at Couture Fashion Shows Are More Beautiful Than Any Dress Could Be," 24 Jan. 2019 And while excellent genes have no doubt helped their case, there is something to be learned by mere mortals from the designer’s more-is-more beauty philosophy. Vogue, "4 Versace Beauty Rules Every Bombshell Should Know By Heart," 21 Sep. 2018 One that might be a big change for Markle is that the family opens presents at teatime on Christmas Eve—not Christmas morning, like most of us mere mortals. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Why Meghan Markle Can't Open Presents on Christmas Anymore," 13 Nov. 2018 The idea is this: Mere mortals who have the cash get to make turns and ride the lift with a former Olympic skier for the day. Candice Rainey, Condé Nast Traveler, "What It's Like to Ski With an Olympian," 4 Dec. 2018 Us mortals — er, muggles — might better know JoJo as J.K. Rowling. Mary H.k. Choi, The Cut, "Jessica Williams Is Ready to Claim What’s Hers," 4 June 2018 In all these works, tesseracts open up the possibilities of space and time to us three-dimensional mortals. refinery29.com, "A Wrinkle In Time," 7 Mar. 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 and Adverb

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

Noun

see human entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mortal

Statistics for mortal

Last Updated

1 Mar 2019

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 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

mortal

noun

Kids Definition of mortal (Entry 2 of 2)

: a human being

mortal

adjective
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

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

not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!