- of, relating to, or causing death; deadly; fatal: a lethal weapon; a lethal dose.
- made or carried out to cause death: a lethal chamber; a lethal attack.
- causing great harm or destruction: The disclosures were lethal to his candidacy.
Origin of lethal
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for non-lethal
John Kerry, who also pushed to arm the rebels, finally got the White House to agree to non-lethal assistance in February 2013.Obama Stifled Hillary’s Syria Plans and Ignored Her Iraq Warnings for Years
August 14, 2014
Breedlove added that he discussed a number of issues including the U.S. consideration of non-lethal aid to Ukraine.Exclusive: Key General Splits With Obama Over Ukraine
April 11, 2014
And non-lethal crimes, such as assault, extortion, and theft are also high.Latin America’s Secret Success Story
Shannon K. O'Neil
July 16, 2013
He advocates also legal changes to improve access to non-lethal technologies of self-defense: Tasers, Mace, and so on.David's Bookclub: Private Guns, Public Health
March 31, 2013
On the night of the raid and during it, non-lethal only would be used.
Gas fired in shells was of two sorts, lethal and non-lethal.
- able to cause or causing death
- of or suggestive of death
Word Origin and History for non-lethal
1580s, from Late Latin lethalis, alteration of Latin letalis "deadly, fatal," from letum "death," of uncertain origin. Form altered in Late Latin by association with lethe hydor "water of oblivion" in Hades in Greek mythology, from Greek lethe "forgetfulness."
- Capable of causing death.
- Of, relating to, or causing death.