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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective University of New Hampshire demographer Ken Johnson calculates that since the last election, about 195,000 of the state’s 1.1 million voters have departed — either from the state (150,000) or from this mortal existence (45,000). Andrew Van Dam, Washington Post, "What you’re probably getting wrong about New Hampshire primary voters," 11 Feb. 2020 Whether Trump will nonetheless become the first President in U.S. history to be impeached and then reëlected remains a matter of mortal dread among many Democrats. Steve Coll, The New Yorker, "What Matters Most in the Battle Between Trump and Pelosi," 7 Feb. 2020 After the blasts comes the fallout, the depthless smoke of nuclear winter, the ensuing end of the crops that sustain our mortal bodies, and the certain starvation of those too unlucky to have survived the war. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "World War III Is an Irresistible Meme," 5 Jan. 2020 If so, the shock has not survived; what lingers, after sixty years, is a lazy amusement at mortal foibles, which are scarcely confined to the wealthy. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "A Hundred Years of Fellini," 17 Jan. 2020 These shot-like compositions that arise from the flow of long takes come at the expense of plot and character, as in a scene of hand-to-hand combat that’s framed in the distance without regard to its mortal stakes and intense physicality. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "The Beauty of Sam Mendes’s “1917” Comes at a Cost," 7 Jan. 2020 Like giant beanstalks these columns form a solid vertical bridge between the mortal world at ground level and the celestial space above, and seem to suggest that heaven has its roots deep inside the Earth. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian, "A Tour of the World’s Most Spectacular Ceilings," 22 Oct. 2019 Now picture the moment when Hercules was sapped of all his powers, the super-human glow drained from his body, and a mere mortal remained, frozen by fear and confusion, unable to even imagine his previous capabilities. SI.com, "7 Players Who Were Found Out After Making a Move to the Premier League's Elite Clubs," 12 Oct. 2019 Rapper 50 Cent just gave his 7-year-old son a Christmas present that is so outlandishly over-the-top that no mere mortal parent could possibly top it. Melissa Locker, Time, "50 Cent Bought His Son an Unlimited Toys ‘R’ Us Shopping Spree for Christmas, So Top That Santa," 23 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Bridge to love In Chinese myth, Cattleman was a handsome young mortal who once healed a dying ox. Wei Li, The Conversation, "How China does Valentine’s Day," 11 Feb. 2020 Pete Buttigieg, asked by Dan Pfeiffer on Pod Save America about the experiences that best prepared him for office: Every person who’s walked into that job has been a mortal with some set of life experiences. New York Times, "Would a 37-Year-Old Woman Be Where Pete Buttigieg Is?," 18 Jan. 2020 The 49ers even made Most Valuable Player front-runner Lamar Jackson look quasi-mortal at times. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, "Five Things We Learned from the Ravens’ 20-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers," 2 Dec. 2019 Take the gondola back down from Heavenly, to where mere mortals dwell, and find your own slice of Valhalla back at the Edgewood Spa. Jordan Riefe, Orange County Register, "Have a sinfully good time at Heavenly’s winter wonderland," 25 Nov. 2019 Some celebs have graced us mere mortals with a glimpse at their alter egos. Carly Breit, PEOPLE.com, "From Finstas to Lurker Accounts: 11 Celebs Whose Secret Social Media Handles You Need to Follow," 23 Oct. 2019 This is how Odysseus tells the Circe story: He, a mortal who was, by all accounts, a smidgen too short for the average woman’s Tinder filters, pulled up on her island. Washington Post, "Women, once relegated to supporting roles, are becoming the protagonists of their own stories," 23 Oct. 2019 Made with synthetic hair, the brushes were a labor of love for Dedivanovic, who wanted to create sturdy, effective, and luxurious brushes for us mortals to use every single day. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Mario Dedivanovic Is Launching Makeup Brushes with Sephora That You'll Want to Keep Forever," 13 Dec. 2019 All that represents bad news for the Spurs, who are having enough trouble defending mere mortals. Jeff Mcdonald, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio Spurs’ poor 3-point defense to be tested by James Harden, Houston Rockets," 2 Dec. 2019

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.

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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

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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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Statistics for mortal

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mortal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mortal. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for mortal

mortal

adjective
How to pronounce mortal (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on mortal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mortal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mortal

Spanish Central: Translation of mortal

Nglish: Translation of mortal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mortal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on mortal

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