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

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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

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 Domestic box office gross: $24.41M Jennifer Garner plays Marvel Comics hero Elektra, a warrior who recovers from nearly mortal wounds to become an assassin for a powerful group called The Hand. Charles Stockdale And John Harrington, USA TODAY, "The 24 most forgettable superheroes in movies," 5 July 2018 The Wolverines were mortal in the second half, shooting 12-for-29. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball adds to resume, hammers Maryland, 85-61," 24 Feb. 2018 It’s more than two decades since the England national team last inspired something other than mortal dread among its loyalest followers. Jonathan Clegg, WSJ, "It’s Coming Home: The Meme Behind England’s World Cup Fervor," 7 July 2018 Believing foul play was involved in Riley’s death (though no adults believe it), Mila performs a magic spell that brings all three girls back to their mortal coil for seven days. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Four hot novels for teens to dive into this summer vacation," 3 July 2018 Mix in Ben Simmons's unprecedented size at point guard and the 2018-19 Sixers are steamrolling every mortal team in their path. The Crossover Staff, SI.com, "What's LeBron's Best Option This Summer? Debating 10 Teams and One Crazy Idea," 5 June 2018 In Greek mythology, Zeus grants Eos’s mortal lover Tithonus immortality—but the goddess forgets to ask for eternal youth as well. Joi Ito, WIRED, "The Responsibility of Immortality: Welcome to the New Transhumanism," 4 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The move may have left fans and onlookers completely shook, but the idea of two people embarking on a whirlwind engagement is no new concept, particularly among us mere mortals. Grace Gavilanes, PEOPLE.com, "Just Like Ariana & Pete, These Real Couples Got Engaged Within Weeks — But Are They Still Together?," 26 June 2018 But the first significant arm injury of Kershaw’s career adds to the growing suspicion that, after 10 seasons of unparalleled excellence, the three-time Cy Young Award winner is coming down to the realm of the mere mortals. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "Clayton Kershaw's arm injury, trip to DL latest sign of mortality for Dodgers great," 6 May 2018 What about some decision-making tips for us non-poker mortals? Erin Arvedlund, Philly.com, "Annie Duke, former World Poker champ, says it's ok not to be certain," 29 Mar. 2018 The Brava oven also has a 5-megapixel, fisheye camera inside of it, which is less about allowing mere mortals to watch their food cook and more about training Brava's machine-learning engine. Lauren Goode, WIRED, "Brava Hopes to Heat Up the 'Smart Kitchen' With a $995 Oven," 10 July 2018 But, that's not where the heavenly activity stops for us mortals this week. refinery29.com, "The New Moon This Thursday Will Be A Double Whammy," 9 July 2018 Each time Federer and Nadal reach the finals of a Grand Slam, whether pitted against mere mortals or each other in yet another titanic clash, the race for the title of greatest tennis player of all time draws evermore narrow. Andrew Lawrence, The Atlantic, "What’s Going on With Novak Djokovic?," 30 June 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.

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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

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

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Statistics for mortal

Last Updated

27 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mortal

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

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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

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Comments on mortal

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