- subject to death; having a transitory life: all mortal creatures.
- of or relating to human beings as subject to death; human: this mortal life.
- belonging to this world.
- deadly or implacable; relentless: a mortal enemy.
- severe, dire, grievous, or bitter: in mortal fear.
- causing or liable to cause death; fatal: a mortal wound.
- to the death: mortal combat.
- of or relating to death: the mortal hour.
- involving spiritual death (opposed to venial): mortal sin.
- long and wearisome.
- extreme; very great: in a mortal hurry.
- conceivable; possible: of no mortal value to the owners.
- a human being.
- the condition of being subject to death.
Origin of mortal
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for mortal
While some of the patients had been seriously ill, many of them were not in mortal danger—at least not from their illnesses.Why the Crisis in VA Hospitals Shames Our Country on Memorial Day
May 26, 2014
The stakes didn't seem high enough—largely because America no longer views Russia as its mortal enemy.Why ‘The Americans’ Is the Best Spy Show on TV
February 26, 2014
On the other far end of the spectrum, admittedly, is the idea that our first president might have unsprung the mortal coil.Was George Washington Among the Walking Dead?
January 26, 2014
Yet each devoted his energies to matters of universal concern, and together they form a curious triptych on the mortal condition.Three Great Men Died That Day: JFK, C.S. Lewis, and Aldous Huxley
November 3, 2013
But the Al-Shabab attackers were only able to kill the mortal part of him that he had in common with everybody.Kofi Awoonor, the Ghanaian Poet Killed in Westgate Mall Attack
September 24, 2013
They were fabled as seven sisters, and one lost her place in the sky by marrying a mortal.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
Yet he knew that he was not fatally injured if he could stop that mortal drain of his wounds.Way of the Lawless
If it be drinkable by any manner of mortal, I must moisten my throat with it.The New Adam and Eve (From "Mosses From An Old Manse")
There's no good to mortal creature i' the bones or blood of her!Weighed and Wanting
Alas, the vanity of mortal projects, even when they centre in the grave!Other Tales and Sketches
- (of living beings, esp human beings) subject to death
- of or involving life or the world
- ending in or causing death; fatala mortal blow
- deadly or unrelentinga mortal enemy
- of or like the fear of death; diremortal terror
- great or very intensemortal pain
- possiblethere was no mortal reason to go
- slang long and tediousfor three mortal hours
- a mortal being
- informal a persona mean mortal
Word Origin and History for mortal
mid-14c., "deadly," also "doomed to die," from Old French mortel "destined to die; deserving of death," from Latin mortalis "subject to death, mortal, of a mortal, human," from mors (genitive mortis) "death," from PIE base *mer- "to die," with derivatives referring to death and human beings" (cf. Sanskrit mrtih "death," martah "mortal man;" Avestan miryeite "dies," Old Persian martiya- "man;" Armenian meranim "die;" Latin mori "to die;" Lithuanian mirtis "mortal man;" Greek brotos "mortal" (hence ambrotos "immortal"); Old Church Slavonic mrutvu "dead;" Old Irish marb, Welsh marw "died;" Old English morþ "murder"). The most widespread Indo-European root for "to die," forming the common word for it except in Greek and Germanic. Watkins says it is "possibly" the same as PIE *mer- "rub, pound, wear away" (see morbid).
"mortal thing or substance," 1520s, from mortal (adj.). Latin mortalis also was used as a noun, "a man, mortal, human being."
- Liable or subject to death.
- Causing death; fatal.