dead 1 of 3

as in doomed
facing certain defeat, disaster, or death if we don't finish this project on time, we're dead

Synonyms & Similar Words



2 of 3



3 of 3


as in death
the state of being dead it's impossible to raise someone from the dead

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near dead

Cite this Entry

“Dead.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

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