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

When faced with real mortality, patient preferences for care did not differ across hospital regions. Orly Nadell Farber, STAT, "Physicians’ beliefs may override cancer patients’ wishes for end-of-life care, study finds," 9 July 2018 Within each category, the site ranked metrics such as cities' credit ratings, long-term debt, high school graduation rates, infant mortality, violent crime, unemployment, median income growth, water quality and access to public transportation. Sven Berg, idahostatesman, "Congratulations, Nampa and Boise. You're among the 'best-run cities' in America.," 9 July 2018 The situation comes at a complicated point for Joe, who’s wrestling with mortality, how to still best serve the USA, and why Barack can’t be bothered to call. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Obama and Biden ride again (as detectives!) in the fun mystery, 'Hope Never Dies'," 9 July 2018 The story is a sad but funny meditation on mortality and the indignities of aging flesh. Michael Berry, San Francisco Chronicle, "Science fiction and fantasy books: ‘Belly Up,’ ‘What Should Be Wild,’ ‘84K’," 7 June 2018 Those who maintained or improved their fitness over 4.2 years had a 40 percent lower mortality rate than those who lost fitness due to insufficient activity. Amby Burfoot, courant.com, "Middle Age Not Too Late To Increase Cardiac Fitness, Studies Show," 1 June 2018 Most of the panels, regardless of topic, touched on maternal mortality at some point. Forrest Milburn, San Antonio Express-News, "Lawmakers urge more action to grapple with Texas’ maternal health problems," 2 Feb. 2018 Most of the panels, regardless of topic, touched on maternal mortality at some point. Forrest Milburn, Houston Chronicle, "Lawmakers urge more action to grapple with Texas’ maternal health problems," 1 Feb. 2018 Good seems to have her mind on mortality — not her own, but that of the Charley Project. Jeremy Lybarger, Longreads, "The Encylopedia of the Missing," 11 Jan. 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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Phrases Related to mortality

infant mortality

mortality rate

Statistics for mortality

Last Updated

30 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mortality

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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Comments on mortality

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