death

noun
\ ˈdeth How to pronounce death (audio) \

Definition of death

1a : a permanent cessation of all vital (see vital sense 2a) functions : the end of life The cause of death has not been determined. managed to escape death prisoners were put to death death threats — compare brain death
b : an instance of dying a disease causing many deaths lived there until her death
2a : the cause or occasion of loss of life drinking was the death of him
b : a cause of ruin the slander that was death to my character— Wilkie Collins The drought was death to the farm.
3 capitalized, folklore : the destroyer of life represented usually as a skeleton with a scythe when death comes to take me away
4 : the state of being no longer alive : the state of being dead
5a : the passing or destruction of something inanimate the death of vaudeville
b : extinction the death of the dinosaurs
6 law : civil death
7 : slaughter death and destruction
8 Christian Science : the lie of life in matter : that which is unreal and untrue
at death's door
: close to death : critically ill
to death
: beyond endurance : excessively bored to death scared to death of spiders I am sick to death of hearing your excuses. Most high rollers prefer Atlantic City and Las Vegas, where they are comped to death and have more diversions.— William G. Flanagan et al.

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Examples of death in a Sentence

birth, life, and eventual death The newspaper did not report the cause of death. People around the world mourned his death. The accident resulted in two deaths. The number of deaths from cancer is rising. He died a violent death. There has been a death in the family. The general met his death on the battlefield. the death of a marriage Death could be seen lurking in the corner of the painting.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The announcement came in the midst of an outcry over the mounting death toll and hundreds of serious lung illnesses linked to vaping. Jayne O'donnell, USA TODAY, "Trump's proposed ban on vape flavors may not stop teens from vaping, experts warn," 14 Sep. 2019 With a death toll of 51, March 15 marks the worst atrocity in New Zealand’s modern history. NBC News, "Terror and hope: New Zealand reflects 6 months after Christchurch mosque attacks," 14 Sep. 2019 The death toll, when tallied, may never be a complete or accurate expression of the lives that the storm claimed. Ferguson Bernard, The New Yorker, "Hurricane Dorian Was a Climate Injustice," 12 Sep. 2019 The death toll is currently at 50, and many are still in need of relief efforts. Chelsea Hofmann, azcentral, "Phoenix Suns Deandre Ayton hosts donation drive for Hurricane Dorian relief efforts," 11 Sep. 2019 About 2,500 people are feared missing in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian, raising concerns the death toll may significantly rise beyond the 50 reported so far. Reuters, The Mercury News, "US denies protective status to Bahamas hurricane evacuees," 11 Sep. 2019 As of Wednesday, the official death toll was 50 according to several news outlets, but the Bahama government told reporters that more than 2,500 people are still missing. Jenny Dial Creech, Houston Chronicle, "Rockets' Eric Gordon launches fundraiser for hurricane-ravaged Bahamas," 11 Sep. 2019 The death toll included 59 children who were 9-years-old or younger. Steven Goode, courant.com, "With hopes of unraveling a 75-year-old mystery, medical examiner’s bid to exhume two unidentified victims of the Hartford Circus Fire gets OK from judge," 11 Sep. 2019 Currently, the death toll for Dorian stands at at least 50, according to multiple reports and over 70,000 people have lost their homes. Tanya A. Christian, Essence, "Trump Says 'Very Bad People' From Hurricane-Stricken Bahamas Not Welcomed In U.S.," 10 Sep. 2019

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for death

Middle English deeth, from Old English dēath; akin to Old Norse dauthi death, deyja to die — more at die

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Statistics for death

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for death

The first known use of death was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for death

death

noun

English Language Learners Definition of death

: the end of life : the time when someone or something dies
: the ending of a particular person's life
: the permanent end of something that is not alive : the ruin or destruction of something

death

noun
\ ˈdeth How to pronounce death (audio) \

Kids Definition of death

1 : the end or ending of life
2 : the cause of loss of life Drinking will be the death of him.
3 : the state of being dead He was more famous in death than in life.
4 : ruin entry 2 sense 1, extinction DVDs meant the death of videotape.
to death
: very entry 1 sense 1, extremely We were scared to death.

Other Words from death

deathlike \ -​ˌlīk \ adjective

death

noun
\ ˈdeth How to pronounce death (audio) \

Medical Definition of death

1 : the irreversible cessation of all vital functions especially as indicated by permanent stoppage of the heart, respiration, and brain activity : the end of life — see brain death
2 : the cause or occasion of loss of life drinking was the death of him
3 : the state of being dead in death as in life

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death

noun

Legal Definition of death

: a permanent cessation of all vital bodily functions : the end of life — see also brain death, civil death

Note: Death is usually defined by statute and for purposes of criminal homicide has been held to include brain death.

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More from Merriam-Webster on death

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with death

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for death

Spanish Central: Translation of death

Nglish: Translation of death for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of death for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about death

Comments on death

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