- of, relating to, or causing death; deadly; fatal: a lethal weapon; a lethal dose.
- made or carried out to cause death: a lethal chamber; a lethal attack.
- causing great harm or destruction: The disclosures were lethal to his candidacy.
Origin of lethal
SynonymsSee more synonyms for lethal on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for lethal
But others say a still-unidentified man likely fired the round that caused a lethal head wound.Exclusive: Bin Laden ‘Shooter’ Under Investigation for Leaking Secrets
December 23, 2014
After World War I, unions began their losing and lethal battle with textile owners across the South.Glenn Beck Is Now Selling Hipster Clothes. Really.
Ana Marie Cox
December 20, 2014
Servin is a rarity: A cop who is being tried for his lethal actions.
Here are just a few of the most egregious uses of lethal force by Chicago police.
“Here the implementation of lethal force was a reasonable response under the circumstances,” she said.Worse Than Eric Garner: Cops Who Got Away With Killing Autistic Men and Little Girls
December 4, 2014
He'd destroyed the lethal bacterial cultures they'd been ordered to dump on Weald.Pariah Planet
It was almost as if he had emerged from the lethal presence of the fumigator itself.The Market-Place
How long had they been under the influence of the lethal stuff?
In desperation, Taber fired at the lethal fist that held the weapon.Ten From Infinity
Paul W. Fairman
History is full of cruel tragedies caused by the lethal sex.Love Among the Chickens
P. G. Wodehouse
- able to cause or causing death
- of or suggestive of death
Word Origin and History for lethal
1580s, from Late Latin lethalis, alteration of Latin letalis "deadly, fatal," from letum "death," of uncertain origin. Form altered in Late Latin by association with lethe hydor "water of oblivion" in Hades in Greek mythology, from Greek lethe "forgetfulness."
- Capable of causing death.
- Of, relating to, or causing death.