[ deth ]
/ dɛθ /
the act of dying; the end of life; the total and permanent cessation of all the vital functions of an organism.Compare brain death.
an instance of this: a death in the family; letters published after his death.
the state of being dead: to lie still in death.
manner of dying: a hero's death.
(usually initial capital letter) the agent of death personified, usually represented as a man or a skeleton carrying a scythe.Compare Grim Reaper.
Also called spir·it·u·al death . loss or absence of spiritual life.
Christian Science. the false belief that life comes to an end.
bloodshed or murder: Hitler was responsible for the death of millions.
a cause or occasion of death: You'll be the death of me yet!
Archaic. pestilence; plague.Compare Black Death.
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Idioms for death
- to be excessively strict about: College professors are death on late work, so don't even ask for a deadline extension.
- to be snobbish about or toward: He's just death on anyone who doesn't appreciate opera.
- to be able to cope with easily and successfully: The third baseman is death on pop flies.
at death's door, in serious danger of death; gravely ill: Two survivors of the crash are still at death's door.
be death on, Informal.
- to kill, especially to murder.
- to repeat too often, to the point of becoming monotonous and boring: That theme has been done to death.
- Fox Hunting. present at the kill.
- present at the climax or conclusion of a situation.
catch one’s death (of cold), to become ill with a common cold after exposure to bad weather, especially when wearing clothing that fails to keep one warm or dry: The kids will catch their death waiting at the bus stop in this rain.
do to death,
in at the death,
to death, to an extreme degree; thoroughly: sick to death of the heat.
Origin of death
OTHER WORDS FROM deathpre·death, noun
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH deathdearth, death
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
British Dictionary definitions for death
/ (dɛθ) /
the permanent end of all functions of life in an organism or some of its cellular components
an instance of thishis death ended an era
a murder or killinghe had five deaths on his conscience
termination or destructionthe death of colonialism
a state of affairs or an experience considered as terrible as deathyour constant nagging will be the death of me
a cause or source of death
(usually capital) a personification of death, usually a skeleton or an old man holding a scythe
- to death or to the death until deadbleed to death; a fight to the death
- to death excessivelybored to death
at death's door likely to die soon
catch one's death or catch one's death of cold informal to contract a severe cold
do to death
- to kill
- to overuse (a joke, etc) so that it no longer has any effect
in at the death
- present when an animal that is being hunted is caught and killed
- present at the finish or climax
like death warmed up informal very ill
like grim death as if afraid for one's life
put to death to kill deliberately or execute
Other words from deathRelated adjectives: fatal, lethal, mortalRelated prefixes: necro-, thanato-
Word Origin for death
Old English dēath; related to Old High German tōd death, Gothic dauthus
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
Medical definitions for death
[ dĕth ]
The end of life; the permanent cessation of vital bodily functions, as manifested in humans by the loss of heartbeat, the absence of spontaneous breathing, and brain death.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Scientific definitions for death
[ dĕth ]
The end of life of an organism or cell. In humans and animals, death is manifested by the permanent cessation of vital organic functions, including the absence of heartbeat, spontaneous breathing, and brain activity. Cells die as a result of external injury or by an orderly, programmed series of self-destructive events known as apoptosis. The most common causes of death for humans in well-developed countries are cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, certain chronic diseases such as diabetes and emphysema, lung infections, and accidents. See also brain death.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Idioms and Phrases with death
In addition to the idioms beginning with death
- death and taxes, certain as
- death knell
- death of
- death on
- at death's door
- be the death of
- bore to death
- catch cold (one's death)
- fate worse than death
- in at the death
- kiss of death
- look like death (warmed over)
- matter of life and death
- put to death
- scare out of one's wits (to death)
- sign one's own death warrant
- thrill to pieces (to death)
- tickled pink (to death)
- to death
Also see underdead.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.