adjective Slang.

Nearby words

  1. killable,
  2. killarney,
  3. killdee,
  4. killdeer,
  5. killeen,
  6. killer app,
  7. killer application,
  8. killer bars,
  9. killer bee,
  10. killer boat

Origin of killer

First recorded in 1525–35; kill1 + -er1

Related formsself-kill·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for killer

British Dictionary definitions for killer



  1. a person or animal that kills, esp habitually
  2. (as modifier)a killer shark
something, esp a task or activity, that is particularly taxing or exhausting
Australian and NZ an animal selected to be slaughtered for food
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 killer



late 15c., agent noun from kill (v.). But a surname, Ric[hard] Le Kyller is attested from 1288. Figurative use from 1550s. Meaning "impressive person or thing" is by 1900 (as an adjective, 1979); reduplicated form killer-diller attested by 1938. Killer whale is from 1725; killer instinct is attested from 1931, originally in boxing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper