kill

1
[kil]
See more synonyms for kill on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to deprive of life in any manner; cause the death of; slay.
  2. to destroy; do away with; extinguish: His response killed our hopes.
  3. to destroy or neutralize the active qualities of: to kill an odor.
  4. to spoil the effect of: His extra brushwork killed the painting.
  5. to cause (time) to be consumed with seeming rapidity or with a minimum of boredom, especially by engaging in some easy activity or amusement of passing interest: I had to kill three hours before plane time.
  6. to spend (time) unprofitably: He killed ten good years on that job.
  7. Informal. to overcome completely or with irresistible effect: That comedian kills me.
  8. to muffle or deaden: This carpet kills the sound of footsteps.
  9. Informal. to cause distress or discomfort to: These new shoes are killing me.
  10. Informal. to tire completely; exhaust: The long hike killed us.
  11. Informal. to consume completely: They killed a bottle of bourbon between them.
  12. to cancel publication of (a word, paragraph, item, etc.), especially after it has been set in type.
  13. to defeat or veto (a legislative bill, etc.).
  14. Electricity. to render (a circuit) dead.
  15. to stop the operation of (machinery, engines, etc.): He killed the motor and the car stopped.
  16. Tennis. to hit (a ball) with such force that its return is impossible.
  17. Metallurgy.
    1. to deoxidize (steel) before teeming into an ingot mold.
    2. to eliminate springiness from (wire or the like).
    3. to cold-roll (sheet metal) after final heat treatment in order to eliminate distortion.
  18. Ice Hockey. to prevent the opposing team from scoring in the course of (a penalty being served by a teammate or teammates).
verb (used without object)
  1. to inflict or cause death.
  2. to commit murder.
  3. to be killed.
  4. to overcome completely; produce an irresistible effect: dressed to kill.
  5. Slang. to feel a smarting pain, as from a minor accident; sting: I stubbed my little toe and that really kills.
noun
  1. the act of killing, especially game: The hounds moved in for the kill.
  2. an animal or animals killed.
  3. a number or quantity killed.
  4. an act or instance of hitting or destroying a target, especially an enemy aircraft.
  5. the target so hit or, especially, destroyed.
  6. Sports. kill shot.
Verb Phrases
  1. kill off,
    1. to destroy completely; kill, especially successively or indiscriminately: The invaders killed off all the inhabitants of the town.
    2. Informal.to extinguish; eliminate: The bus ride every day kills off all of my energy.
Idioms
  1. kill with kindness, to overdo in one's efforts to be kind: The aunts would kill their nephews and nieces with kindness.

Origin of kill

1
1175–1225; Middle English cullen, killen to strike, beat, kill, Old English *cyllan; cognate with dialectal German küllen (Westphalian). See quell
Related formskill·a·ble, adjectiveself-killed, adjectiveun·killed, adjective
Can be confusedkill kiln

Synonym study

1. Kill, execute, murder all mean to deprive of life. Kill is the general word, with no implication of the manner of killing, the agent or cause, or the nature of what is killed (whether human being, animal, or plant): to kill a person. Execute is used with reference to the putting to death of one in accordance with a legal sentence, no matter what the means are: to execute a criminal. Murder is used of killing a human being unlawfully: He murdered him for his money.

kill

2
[kil]
noun Chiefly New York State.
  1. a channel; creek; stream; river: used especially in place names: Kill Van Kull.

Origin of kill

2
1660–70, Americanism; < Dutch kil, Middle Dutch kille channel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for kill

Contemporary Examples of kill

Historical Examples of kill


British Dictionary definitions for kill

kill

1
verb (mainly tr)
  1. (also intr; when tr, sometimes foll by off) to cause the death of (a person or animal)
  2. to put an end to; destroyto kill someone's interest
  3. to make (time) pass quickly, esp while waiting for something
  4. to deaden (sound)
  5. informal to tire out; exhaustthe effort killed him
  6. informal to cause to suffer pain or discomfortmy shoes are killing me
  7. informal to cancel, cut, or deleteto kill three lines of text
  8. informal to quash, defeat, or vetothe bill was killed in the House of Lords
  9. informal to switch off; stopto kill a motor
  10. (also intr) informal to overcome with attraction, laughter, surprise, etcshe was dressed to kill; his gags kill me
  11. slang to consume (alcoholic drink) entirelyhe killed three bottles of rum
  12. sport to hit (a ball) so hard or so accurately that the opponent cannot return it
  13. soccer to bring (a moving ball) under control; trap
  14. kill oneself informal to overexert oneselfdon't kill yourself
  15. kill two birds with one stone to achieve two results with one action
noun
  1. the act of causing death, esp at the end of a hunt, bullfight, etc
  2. the animal or animals killed during a hunt
  3. NZ the seasonal tally of stock slaughtered at a freezing works
  4. the destruction of a battleship, tank, etc
  5. in at the kill present at the end or climax of some undertaking

Word Origin for kill

C13 cullen; perhaps related to Old English cwellan to kill; compare German (Westphalian dialect) küllen; see quell

kill

2
noun
  1. US a channel, stream, or river (chiefly as part of place names)

Word Origin for kill

C17: from Middle Dutch kille; compare Old Norse kīll small bay, creek
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 kill
v.

c.1200, "to strike, hit, beat, knock;" c.1300, "to deprive of life," perhaps from an unrecorded variant of Old English cwellan "to kill" (see quell), but the earliest sense suggests otherwise. Sense in to kill time is from 1728. Related: Killed; killing. Kill-devil, colloquial for "rum," especially if new or of bad quality, is from 1630s.

n.2

"stream," 1630s, American English, from Dutch kil, from Middle Dutch kille "riverbed," especially in place names (e.g. Schuylkill). A common Germanic word, the Old Norse form, kill, meant "bay, gulf" and gave its name to Kiel Fjord on the German Baltic coast and thence to Kiel, the port city founded there in 1240.

n.1

early 13c., "a stroke, a blow," from kill (v.). Meaning "act of killing" is from 1814; that of "a killed animal" is from 1878. Lawn tennis serve sense is from 1903. The kill "the knockout" is boxing jargon, 1950.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with kill

kill

In addition to the idioms beginning with kill

  • kill off
  • kill or cure
  • kill the fatted calf
  • kill the goose that lays the golden eggs
  • kill time
  • kill two birds with one stone
  • kill with kindness

also see:

  • curiosity killed the cat
  • dressed to kill
  • fit to kill
  • in at the death (kill)
  • make a killing
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.