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  1. a unit of one million deaths: used in estimating or predicting the fatalities that would occur in a nuclear war.

Origin of megadeath

First recorded in 1950–55; mega- + death
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for megadeath


  1. the death of a million people, esp in a nuclear war or attack
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 megadeath


1953, from mega- in scientific sense (one million) + death (n.). The death of one million persons, as a measure of the effectiveness of nuclear weapons. The resulting pile of dead bodies would be a megacorpse, according to writings on the topic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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