View synonyms for deadly


[ ded-lee ]


, 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.

    Synonyms: dreary, tedious, dull

  5. deadly haste.

  6. extremely accurate:

    Annie Oakley was a deadly shot.


  1. in a manner resembling or suggesting death:

    deadly pale.

  2. excessively; completely:

    deadly dull.


/ ˈdɛdlɪ /


  1. likely to cause death

    deadly poison

    deadly combat

  2. informal.
    extremely boring


  1. like death in appearance or certainty

    deadly pale

    a deadly sleep

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Derived Forms

  • ˈdeadliness, noun

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Other Words From

  • deadli·ness noun
  • non·deadly adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of deadly1

First recorded before 900; Middle English deedli(ch), Old English dēadlīce; dead, -ly

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Synonym Study

See fatal.

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Example Sentences

These aren’t the kinds of choices restaurateurs should be making during a deadly pandemic.

From Eater

It referenced the deadly 2007 Rice Fire, which started when a Sycamore tree limb hit a power line near Fallbrook.

At least one real-world field study supports the idea that transmissible vaccines can be both safe and effective at eradicating a deadly disease in wildlife.

Odorless and tasteless, the powder could be mixed into bits of meat and scattered across the landscape as deadly bait for dingoes to snatch up.

In a 2016 study, six of eight cats recovered from an infection with the deadly form of the feline coronavirus after treatment with the drug, Pedersen and colleagues reported in PLOS Pathogens.

The comedian responded to the deadly attack on a French satirical magazine by renewing his recent criticisms of the Islamic faith.

Gunshots rang out in Paris this morning on a second day of deadly violence that has stunned the French capital.

Shortly after dawn, there was another outbreak of deadly force.

Whatever the reason, and however absurd their beliefs may seem, American evangelicals are deadly serious.

They now claim that Amanda actually wielded the knife and struck the deadly blow, increasing her sentence to 28-and-a-half years.

There is a fascination in serpents, and there is one far more deadly—who has not felt it?

This time they were not met by the cavalrymen alone, but the cannon belched forth its deadly charge of canister in their faces.

I wish Vicky saw through her; she has so much influence over Jack, and such deadly powers of ridicule.

The weeks lengthened into months, and the holidays came; but just before the holidays Black Sheep fell into deadly sin.

Economy with the good old soul was a cardinal virtue, waste a deadly sin.


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[ak-suh-lot-l ]

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