Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

deadly

[ded-lee]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
adjective, dead·li·er, dead·li·est.
  1. causing or tending to cause death; fatal; lethal: a deadly poison.
  2. aiming to kill or destroy; implacable: a deadly enemy.
  3. like death: a deadly pallor.
  4. excruciatingly boring: The dinner party was absolutely deadly.
  5. excessive; inordinate: deadly haste.
  6. extremely accurate: Annie Oakley was a deadly shot.
Show More
adverb
  1. in a manner resembling or suggesting death: deadly pale.
  2. excessively; completely: deadly dull.
Show More

Origin of deadly

before 900; Middle English deedli(ch), Old English dēadlīce. See dead, -ly
Related formsdead·li·ness, nounnon·dead·ly, adjective
Can be confuseddeadly deathly

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. See fatal. 4. dull, tedious, tiresome.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for deadlier

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • But I bethought me of something else that would make a deadlier missile.

    The Strolling Saint

    Raphael Sabatini

  • No deadlier instrument was ever invented by the cruelty of man.

  • "Your touch is deadlier than you know, perhaps," says Mr. Browne, lightly.

    April's Lady

    Margaret Wolfe Hungerford

  • The Tribune raised, for a deadlier blow, the revengeful blade.

    Rienzi

    Edward Bulwer Lytton

  • There is not a surer shot, or a deadlier foe on earth then Persimmon Bill.


British Dictionary definitions for deadlier

deadly

adjective -lier or -liest
  1. likely to cause deathdeadly poison; deadly combat
  2. informal extremely boring
Show More
adverb, adjective
  1. like death in appearance or certaintydeadly pale; a deadly sleep
Show More
Derived Formsdeadliness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for deadlier

deadly

adj.

Old English deadlic "mortal, subject to death," also "causing death;" see dead + -ly (1). Meaning "having the capacity to kill" is from late 14c. (Old English words for this included deaðbærlic, deaðberende).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper