Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

deadly

[ded-lee]
See more synonyms for deadly 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 for deadly 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