See more synonyms for mortality on
noun, plural mor·tal·i·ties.
  1. the state or condition of being subject to death; mortal character, nature, or existence.
  2. the relative frequency of deaths in a specific population; death rate.
  3. mortal beings collectively; humanity.
  4. death or destruction on a large scale, as from war, plague, or famine.
  5. Obsolete. death.

Origin of mortality

1300–50; Middle English mortalite < Middle French < Latin mortālitās. See mortal, -ity Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for mortality


noun plural -ties
  1. the condition of being mortal
  2. great loss of life, as in war or disaster
  3. the number of deaths in a given period
  4. mankind; humanity
  5. an obsolete word for death
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 mortality

mid-14c., "condition of being mortal," from Old French mortalite "massacre, slaughter; fatal illness; poverty; destruction" (12c.), from Latin mortalitem (nominative mortalitas) "state of being mortal; subjection to death," from mortalis (see mortal (adj.)). Meaning "widespread death" is from c.1400; meaning "number of deaths from some cause or in a given period" is from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mortality in Medicine


  1. The quality or condition of being mortal.
  2. Death rate.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.