[ kil-ing ]
See synonyms for killing on
  1. the act of a person or thing that kills.

  2. the total game killed on a hunt.

  1. Informal. a quick and unusually large profit or financial gain: We would all like to win the lottery or make a killing in the stock market.

  1. fatal; deadly: Tuberculosis was a killing disease well into the 20th century, and society found itself with few remedies.

  2. exhausting: An ever-expanding workload is imperceptible at first, but eventually we're operating at a killing pace.

  1. Informal. irresistibly funny.

  2. Slang. very attractive or fascinating: The actress is known for her outstanding beauty and killing smile.

Origin of killing

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English killing(e), kyllyng(e) (gerund); see kill1, -ing1, -ing2

Other words from killing

  • kill·ing·ly, adverb
  • self-kill·ing, adjective
  • un·kill·ing, adjective

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

How to use killing in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for killing


/ (ˈkɪlɪŋ) /

  1. informal very tiring; exhausting: a killing pace

  2. informal extremely funny; hilarious

  1. causing death; fatal

  1. the act of causing death; slaying

  2. informal a sudden stroke of success, usually financial, as in speculations on the stock market (esp in the phrase make a killing)

Derived forms of killing

  • killingly, adverb

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