mortality

noun
mor·​tal·​i·​ty | \ mȯr-ˈta-lə-tē \

Definition of mortality

1 : the quality or state of being mortal Her husband's death reminded her of her own mortality.
2 : the death of large numbers (as of people or animals) trying to reduce infant mortality
3 archaic : death
4 : the human race that natural extinction to which all mortality is subject— Thomas Paine
5a : the number of deaths in a given time or place The mortality among the infected mounted daily.
b : the proportion of deaths to population a brain infection with a mortality rate of about 30 percent— Jane E. Brody
c : the number lost or the rate of loss or failure the mortality rate of small businesses

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Thoughts on Mortality

Young people tend to assume they will never die, but a person's sense of his or her mortality generally increases year by year, and often increases greatly after a serious accident or illness. Still, many people refuse to change behaviors that would improve their chances of living into old age. Mortality rates are calculated by government agencies, insurance companies, and medical researchers. Infant mortality rates (the rate at which infants die in childbirth) provide a good indicator of a country's overall health; in recent years, the rates in countries like Iceland, Singapore, and Japan have been much better than in the U.S.

Examples of mortality in a Sentence

a leading cause of mortality

Recent Examples on the Web

There is also a growing gap in mortality rates based on socioeconomic status. Korin Miller, SELF, "Cancer Deaths Have Declined 27 Percent in 25 Years, But Not Everyone Is Seeing the Same Benefit," 8 Jan. 2019 Eating disorders, which have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, affect approximately 30 million people in the United States. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Demi Lovato Calls Out Video Game Ad on Instagram for Body Shaming," 5 Jan. 2019 Modern witchiness reveals itself through fashion in clothes that articulate joy and express a healthy relationship with mortality while also being difficult for the male gaze. Harper's BAZAAR, "The Modern Woman Is Embracing Her Inner Witch," 12 Nov. 2018 Brown’s own experience with savage murder in 1906 left him with a permanent sense of man’s intimate relationship with mortality. Scott Eyman, WSJ, "‘Clarence Brown’ Review: More Than a Company Man," 19 Oct. 2018 These units, although small and unpretentious facilities within a hospital, seldom exceeding eight beds, constitute a major therapeutic innovation in dealing with the inordinate mortality from heart attacks. Daniel C. Schlenoff, Scientific American, "“Foul Treachery” of Trotsky and Lenin in 1918; Phineas Gage’s Brain in 1868," 13 July 2018 Anticipation of loss, confrontation with mortality, and the desire to ease the passage make these times sacred. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "Liz Shepherd and Michelle Lougee make the mundane memorable," 27 June 2018 That afternoon, facing the Philadelphia Phillies at Dodger Stadium, Kershaw flirted with mortality in dispiriting fashion. Andy Mccullough, latimes.com, "Clayton Kershaw flashes talent and rust in return; Dodgers beat Mets 8-3," 24 June 2018 But, in actuality, a fear of ghosts ultimately reflects our relationship with mortality. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "A Beginner’s Guide to Communicating With Spirits on the Other Side," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mortality.' 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 mortality

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for mortality

Last Updated

21 Jan 2019

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The first known use of mortality was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for mortality

mortality

noun

English Language Learners Definition of mortality

: the quality or state of being a person or thing that is alive and therefore certain to die : the quality or state of being mortal

: the death of a person, animal, etc.

: the number of deaths that occur in a particular time or place

mortality

noun
mor·​tal·​i·​ty | \ mȯr-ˈtal-ət-ē \
plural mortalities

Medical Definition of mortality

1 : the quality or state of being mortal
2a : the number of deaths in a given time or place
b : the proportion of deaths to population : death rate

called also mortality rate

— compare fertility sense 2, morbidity sense 2

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More from Merriam-Webster on mortality

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mortality

Spanish Central: Translation of mortality

Nglish: Translation of mortality for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mortality for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mortality

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