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90s Slang You Should Know


[kil-er] /ˈkɪl ər/
a person or thing that kills.
a device used by a post office for printing cancellations on postage stamps.
a mark of cancellation made on a postage stamp.
Slang. something or someone having a formidable impact, devastating effect, etc.:
The math test was a real killer.
adjective, Slang.
severe; powerful:
a killer cold.
very difficult or demanding:
a killer chess tournament.
highly effective; superior:
a killer recipe for fried chicken.
Origin of killer
First recorded in 1525-35; kill1 + -er1
Related forms
self-killer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for killer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But the killer, restlessly turning, saw him—and Kenneth Torrance winced and cried out.

    Seed of the Arctic Ice H. G. Winter
  • In this world the killer can command, as his fetich, the soul of the killed.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • But the resemblance to my killer ended with her dress and body.

  • The priest's voice softened and he patted the killer's shoulder.

    Criminal Negligence Jesse Francis McComas
  • Meanin' Little Jim won't have to grow up knowin' that his father was a killer.

    Partners of Chance Henry Herbert Knibbs
British Dictionary definitions for killer


  1. a person or animal that kills, esp habitually
  2. (as modifier): a killer shark
something, esp a task or activity, that is particularly taxing or exhausting
(Austral & NZ) an animal selected to be slaughtered for food
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
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Word Origin and History for killer

late 15c., agent noun from kill (v.). But a surname, Ric[hard] Le Kyller is attested from 1288. Figurative use from 1550s. Meaning "impressive person or thing" is by 1900 (as an adjective, 1979); reduplicated form killer-diller attested by 1938. Killer whale is from 1725; killer instinct is attested from 1931, originally in boxing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for killer



(also killer-diller): not only was it a killer version/ The killer idea of the century is about to be laid on you (1970s+)


  1. A very attractive person: Ain't she a killer? (1937+)
  2. also killer-diller) A person or thing that is remarkable, wonderful, superior, etc; beaut, doozie: The song's a killer!/ The famed quartet steams out ''killer-dillers'' (1930s+)
  3. A marijuana cigarette; joint (1940s+ Narcotics)

Related Terms


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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