mortality

noun
mor·​tal·​i·​ty | \ mȯr-ˈta-lə-tē How to pronounce mortality (audio) \

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

Anna's mother, Anne Jarvis, hosted clubs for moms in the 1850s to help them learn to properly care for their children in order to lower the infant mortality rate, according to National Geographic. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "When Is Mother's Day? Here's Everything You Need to Know About the Holiday," 7 Feb. 2019 Social isolation has been associated with significant increases in both mortality risk and risk for a heart attack or stroke. Markham Heid, Time, "Is Working Remotely Bad for Your Health?," 9 July 2018 Even under this superior model, the data barely budged — patients with high mortality risk still accounted for only a small fraction of spending. Orly Nadell Farber, STAT, "Are we spending too much on the dying? New research challenges this widely held view," 28 June 2018 To get this conclusion, researchers studied 43,880 subjects for 13 years, taking into account other factors that might affect mortality risk. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "A New Study Reveals Sleeping In On Weekends Will Make You Live Longer," 25 May 2018 Also, too much sleep can be a problem, the study says, because those who get over eight hours of sleep every day of the week actually have a higher mortality risk than those who just average between six to seven hours. Josh Magness, miamiherald, "Need an excuse to sleep in during weekends? It could keep you alive longer, study says | Miami Herald," 24 May 2018 But one of the researchers’ findings is clear: At 50%, the mortality risk of those who had lost their nest eggs was lower than for those who never accumulated much for retirement at all; those people were 67% more likely to die than savers. Susan Pinker, WSJ, "The Deadly Risk of Losing Your Financial Nest Egg," 11 May 2018 The findings, described in the journal Chronobiology International, offer the first study linking mortality risk to night-owl sleep habits, according to the authors. Amina Khan, latimes.com, "Bad news for night owls. Their risk of early death is 10% higher than for early risers, study finds," 12 Apr. 2018 Another study conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University went as far as to say that friendships affect our life expectancy: people with larger social circles had a 50 percent lower mortality risk than those who didn't. NBC News, "How to make friends as an adult," 29 Mar. 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

18 Mar 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 How to pronounce mortality (audio) \
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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