Thesaurus

dead

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of dead

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 no longer living
  • I inherited this heirloom from my dead great-grandfather

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2 lacking in gaiety, movement, or animation
  • the store is often dead after 4:00 p.m.

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3 depleted in strength, energy, or freshness
  • a long day of traveling left them just dead

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5 lacking in sensation or feeling
  • my foot was dead after I absentmindedly sat on it for an hour

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6 no longer existing
  • the dead Babylonian culture

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7 not being in a state of use, activity, or employment
  • local coal mines that have been dead for years

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9 facing certain defeat, disaster, or death
  • if we don't finish this project on time, we're dead

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10 lacking in taste or flavor
  • from the first sip I could tell that the wine hadn't aged well and was pretty much dead

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11 producing inferior or only a small amount of vegetation
  • the dead wastes of the far country to the west

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dead

adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms of dead (Entry 2 of 3)

1 in a direct line or course
  • the finish line is dead ahead

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dead

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of dead (Entry 3 of 3)

the state of being dead
  • it's impossible to raise someone from the dead

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About dead

How does the adjective dead contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of dead are deceased, defunct, departed, and late. While all these words mean "devoid of life," dead applies literally to what is deprived of vital force but is used figuratively of anything that has lost any attribute (such as energy, activity, radiance) suggesting life.

a dead, listless performance

How does the word deceased relate to other synonyms for dead?

Deceased, departed, and late apply to persons who have died recently. Deceased is the preferred term in legal use.

the estate of the deceased

When is it sensible to use defunct instead of dead?

The words defunct and dead are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, defunct stresses cessation of active existence or operation.

a defunct television series

Where would departed be a reasonable alternative to dead?

The synonyms departed and dead are sometimes interchangeable, but departed is used usually as a euphemism.

our departed sister

When might late be a better fit than dead?

Although the words late and dead have much in common, late is used especially with reference to a person in a specific relation or status.

the company's late president

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Time Traveler for dead

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Dead.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/dead. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dead

Dictionary: Definition of dead

Medical Dictionary: Definition of dead

Nglish: Translation of dead for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dead for Arabic Speakers

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