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See more synonyms for deceased on Thesaurus.com
  1. no longer living; dead.
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  1. the deceased,
    1. the particular dead person or persons referred to.
    2. dead persons collectively: to speak well of the deceased.
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Origin of deceased

First recorded in 1480–90; decease + -ed2
Related formsun·de·ceased, adjective
Can be confuseddeceased diseased

Synonym study

1. See dead.


  1. the act of dying; departure from life; death.
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verb (used without object), de·ceased, de·ceas·ing.
  1. to depart from life; die.
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Origin of decease

1300–50; (noun) Middle English deces < Old French < Latin dēcessus departure, death, equivalent to dēced-, variant stem of dēcēdere to go away (dē- de- + cēdere to go; see cede) + -tus suffix of v. action, with dt > s; (v.) late Middle English decesen, derivative of the noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for deceased

departed, gone, lost, finished, cold, former, expired, asleep, defunct, extinct, inanimate, late, lifeless, exanimate

Examples from the Web for deceased

Contemporary Examples of deceased

Historical Examples of deceased

  • Hence the hair of the deceased was consecrated to her, and her name invoked at funerals.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • His great friendship for her deceased husband also inclined him to like her.

  • Arthur, not being in the mood to extol the memory of the deceased, was silent.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • Possibly they were intended to mark the graves of deceased chieftains.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • No greater homage was ever paid in Parliament to any deceased member.


    Samuel Smiles

British Dictionary definitions for deceased


    1. a more formal word for dead (def. 1)
    2. (as noun)the deceased
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  1. a more formal word for death
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  1. (intr) a more formal word for die 1
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Word Origin for decease

C14 (n): from Old French deces, from Latin dēcēdere to depart
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 deceased


late 15c., past participle adjective from decease (v.). As a verbal noun meaning "dead person, those who are dead," from early 17c.

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"to die," early 15c., from decease (n.). Related: Deceased; deceasing

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"death," early 14c., from Old French deces (12c., Modern French décès) "decease, death," from Latin decessus "death" (euphemism for mors), also "a retirement, a departure," from decess-, past participle stem of decedere "die, depart, withdraw," literally "to go down," from de- "away" (see de-) + cedere "go" (see cede). Still used with a tinge of euphemism.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper