- the time by which something must be finished or submitted; the latest time for finishing something: a five o'clock deadline.
- a line or limit that must not be passed.
- (formerly) a boundary around a military prison beyond which a prisoner could not venture without risk of being shot by the guards.
Origin of deadline
Examples from the Web for deadline
It was Dec. 20, 1991, the deadline for the New Hampshire primary.Mario Cuomo, a Frustrating Hero to Democrats, Is Dead at 82
January 2, 2015
But probably because we co-edited the Deadline Artists anthologies with our friend Jesse Angelo, we feel a fidelity to the form.The Best Columns of 2014
John Avlon, Errol Louis
December 31, 2014
Conservatives have made clear they want Republican leaders to use the December deadline to confront the president on immigration.The Coming GOP Freakout Over Immigration
November 20, 2014
I love the quote that Sharon Klein gave in the release on Deadline.The Good Wife’s Secret Weapon: Matt Czuchry on Cary Agos’s Terrible, Horrible Year
October 27, 2014
The deadline set for the commission to report its findings is March 2015.U.N. Gaza Investigator: 'Anti-Israel' Label Is a 'Slur'
August 12, 2014
It seemed as if we had shipped all the human dregs of the San Francisco deadline.The Trail of '98
Robert W. Service
Just like you always were—plus fifteen seconds on the deadline.Spacehounds of IPC
Edward Elmer Smith
Their deadline for establishing residence was up that night.Land of the Burnt Thigh
Edith Eudora Kohl
He had been given a deadline by the mayor and the citizen's group.Sodom and Gomorrah, Texas
Raphael Aloysius Lafferty
H will never again fall in for roll call on this side of the deadline.Drum Taps in Dixie
Delavan S. Miller
- a time limit for any activity
Word Origin and History for deadline
"time limit," 1920, American English newspaper jargon, from dead (adj.) + line (n.). Perhaps influenced by earlier use (1864) to mean the "do-not-cross" line in Civil War prisons, which figured in the Wirz trial.
And he, the said Wirz, still wickedly pursuing his evil purpose, did establish and cause to be designated within the prison enclosure containing said prisoners a "dead line," being a line around the inner face of the stockade or wall enclosing said prison and about twenty feet distant from and within said stockade; and so established said dead line, which was in many places an imaginary line, in many other places marked by insecure and shifting strips of [boards nailed] upon the tops of small and insecure stakes or posts, he, the said Wirz, instructed the prison guard stationed around the top of said stockade to fire upon and kill any of the prisoners aforesaid who might touch, fall upon, pass over or under [or] across the said "dead line" .... ["Trial of Henry Wirz," Report of the Secretary of War, Oct. 31, 1865]