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 Both were my mortal enemies as a child, as my mom desperately tried to undo the mass of knots that is my hair's natural state. Tatjana Freund, Marie Claire, "Find the Best Hair Brush For Your Hair, Once and For All," 29 Dec. 2020 North Korea, which sees Japan as a mortal enemy, since last year has unveiled a new arsenal of quick-strike, solid-fuel ballistic missiles, including rockets capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to most of its neighbor, weapons experts have said. Isabel Reynolds, Bloomberg.com, "Japan Cabinet Approves Record Defense Budget in Face of China Threats," 21 Dec. 2020 It’s not just the notion of weekends that were dealt a mortal blow in 2020. Randall Roberts, chicagotribune.com, "7 head-scratching Grammy nomination snubs and surprises," 24 Nov. 2020 Meeting Clodagh at the same bell tower where the princess fell to her death years before, Ruth goes on the attack, attempting to push her mortal enemy off of the ledge. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "Black Narcissus Was Always Going To Have An Unhappy Ending," 24 Nov. 2020 If the killers were Mashco Piro, this might be their latest attack against mortal enemies—or an attempt to defend what’s left of their territory and forest food sources. Charlie Hamilton James, History & Culture, "Who killed this Indigenous family in the Peruvian Amazon? And why?," 20 Nov. 2020 But in 1969, those mountains represented a vast wilderness, and heliskiing called for pioneers to lead in this whole new sector of skiing—ones willing to accept mortal risk in exchange for unlocking its glory. Cassidy Randall, Time, "How One Man Survived a Plane Crash and 5 Days in the Snowy Canadian Wilderness—and Went On to Help Shape the Modern Ski Industry," 27 Dec. 2020 Trying to look at these timelines as being real and true —that these folks were mortal rather than immortal. Jevon Phillips, Los Angeles Times, "John Ridley reveals what he can about Black Batman and ‘The Other History of the DC Universe’," 2 Dec. 2020 Plus, paleontologists may finally be able figure out how a pair of foes ended up spending eternity interlocked in mortal combat. Rasha Aridi, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Mystery of the ‘Dueling Dinosaurs’ May Finally Be Solved Now That They’ve Found a Home," 19 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With 10 Grammy wins, a half-century-long parade of country music accolades, and more lifetime achievement awards than any mere mortal could achieve in a lifetime, Parton may not have much room on her mantle for another statuette. Clifton Leaf, Fortune, "20 Things That Went Strangely, Wonderfully Right in 2020," 31 Dec. 2020 Only a few players have ever inspired such devotion, perhaps none more so than Maradona, this most mortal of the soccer gods. Jon Marthaler, Star Tribune, "Maradona inspired special devotion to Argentina soccer fans," 27 Nov. 2020 And in part three, a superhero comes to a mortal for help. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "‘Evil Dead,’ ‘Spider-Man,’ ‘Xena’: Bruce Campbell Q&A," 22 Oct. 2020 In this rare foray into the realm of the supernatural, Paula Beer plays Undine, the water nymph of European mythology, who falls in love with a mortal (Franz Rogowski). Justin Chang Film Critic, Los Angeles Times, "Even from home, this year’s New York Film Festival was a virtual celebration of cinema’s power," 12 Oct. 2020 A night when Anthony Davis, mired in foul trouble, turned mortal for the first time in the series, with 15 points for the Lakers. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "Jimmy Butler powers Heat past Lakers 115-104 to move within 1-2 in NBA Finals," 4 Oct. 2020 New podcasts come out all the time, and no mere mortal can keep up with them all. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, "A Beginner's Guide to Finding and Listening to Podcasts," 21 Sep. 2020 It was made from a tortoise shell by the messenger god Hermes and given to Apollo — who then gave it to his half-mortal son Orpheus. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "Ed Sheeran Is A Dad Now & His Daughter Has The Most Musical Name," 3 Sep. 2020 And Fishback's Robin feels more real than almost any other teenager in recent screen memory: funny and sullen and whip-smart, but also sensibly freaked out by the things that any other ordinary mortal would be. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, "Jamie Foxx finds his sweet spot in Netflix's magic-pill thriller Project Power: Review," 13 Aug. 2020

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

7 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mortal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mortal. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on mortal

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