[ ded-man, -muhn ]

noun,plural dead·men [ded-men, -muhn]. /ˈdɛdˌmɛn, -mən/.
  1. Building Trades. a log, concrete block, etc., buried in the ground as an anchor.

  2. a crutchlike prop temporarily supporting a pole or mast being erected.

  1. Nautical.

    • an object fixed on shore to hold a mooring line temporarily.

    • a rope for hauling the boom of a derrick inboard after discharge of a load of cargo.

  1. Also dead-man's. Machinery, Automotive. of or relating to a control or switch on a powered machine or vehicle that disengages a blade or clutch, applies the brake, shuts off the engine, etc., when the driver or operator ceases to press a pedal, squeeze a throttle, etc.: deadman throttle; dead-man's control.

Origin of deadman


Words Nearby deadman Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use deadman in a sentence

  • Yes, but the dark Justice League—with Swamp Thing, Etrigan, Constantine, deadman, and others.

  • It came from the vast concave of deadman's Bay, rising and falling against the pebble dyke.

    The Well-Beloved | Thomas Hardy
  • At the very commencement of the gold-rush a hole had been sunk in deadman's Flat, and soon afterwards deserted.

    Grif | B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon
  • The miners in the locality would cluster round the hole, which they prophesied would be the richest on deadman's Flat.

    Grif | B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon
  • The miners on deadman's Flat were jubilant, not to say uproarious.

    Grif | B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon
  • And deadman Draw, in between, bears due west and heap down, short and sweet.

    Stepsons of Light | Eugene Manlove Rhodes

British Dictionary definitions for deadman


/ (ˈdɛdˌmæn) /

nounplural -men
  1. civil engineering a heavy plate, wall, or block buried in the ground that acts as an anchor for a retaining wall, sheet pile, etc, by a tie connecting the two

  2. mountaineering a metal plate with a wire loop attached for thrusting into firm snow to serve as a belay point, a smaller version being known as a deadboy

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with deadman


see dead soldier.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.