Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Having lost life; no longer alive.
  • adj. Marked for certain death; doomed: was marked as a dead man by the assassin.
  • adj. Having the physical appearance of death: a dead pallor.
  • adj. Lacking feeling or sensitivity; numb or unresponsive: Passersby were dead to our pleas for help.
  • adj. Weary and worn-out; exhausted.
  • adj. Not having the capacity to live; inanimate or inert.
  • adj. Not having the capacity to produce or sustain life; barren: dead soil.
  • adj. No longer in existence, use, or operation.
  • adj. No longer having significance or relevance.
  • adj. Physically inactive; dormant: a dead volcano.
  • adj. Not commercially productive; idle: dead capital.
  • adj. Not circulating or running; stagnant: dead water; dead air.
  • adj. Devoid of human or vehicular activity; quiet: a dead town.
  • adj. Lacking all animation, excitement, or activity; dull: The party being dead, we left early.
  • adj. Having no resonance. Used of sounds: "One characteristic of compact discs we all can hear is dead sound. It may be pure but it has no life” ( Musical Heritage Review).
  • adj. Having grown cold; having been extinguished: dead coals; a dead flame.
  • adj. Lacking elasticity or bounce: That tennis ball is dead.
  • adj. Out of operation because of a fault or breakdown: The motor is dead.
  • adj. Sudden; abrupt: a dead stop.
  • adj. Complete; utter: dead silence.
  • adj. Exact; unerring. the dead center of a target.
  • adj. Sports Out of play. Used of a ball.
  • adj. Lacking connection to a source of electric current.
  • adj. Drained of electric charge; discharged: a dead battery.
  • n. One who has died: respect for the dead.
  • n. The period exhibiting the greatest degree of intensity: the dead of winter; the dead of night.
  • adv. Absolutely; altogether: You can be dead sure of my innocence.
  • adv. Directly; exactly: There's a gas station dead ahead.
  • adv. Suddenly: She stopped dead on the stairway.
  • idiom dead and buried No longer in use or under consideration: All past animosities are dead and buried now.
  • idiom dead in the water Unable to function or move: The crippled ship was dead in the water. With no leadership, the project was dead in the water.
  • idiom dead to rights In the very act of making an error or committing a crime: The police caught the thief dead to rights with my silverware.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. No longer living.
  • adj. Figuratively, not alive; lacking life
  • adj. So hated that they are absolutely ignored.
  • adj. Without emotion.
  • adj. Stationary; static.
  • adj. Without interest to one of the senses; dull; flat.
  • adj. Unproductive.
  • adj. Completely inactive; without power; without a signal.
  • adj. Broken or inoperable.
  • adj. No longer used or required.
  • adj. Not in play.
  • adj. (baseball, slang, 1800s) Tagged out.
  • adj. Full and complete.
  • adj. Exact.
  • adj. Experiencing pins and needles (paresthesia).
  • adj. (Certain to be) in big trouble.
  • n. Time when coldness, darkness, or stillness is most intense.
  • n. Those who have died.
  • adv. Exactly right.
  • adv. Very, absolutely, extremely, suddenly.
  • v. to prevent by disabling; stop
  • v. To kill.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Deprived of life; -- opposed to alive and living; reduced to that state of a being in which the organs of motion and life have irrevocably ceased to perform their functions
  • adj. Destitute of life; inanimate.
  • adj. Resembling death in appearance or quality; without show of life; deathlike.
  • adj. Still as death; motionless; inactive; useless
  • adj. So constructed as not to transmit sound; soundless.
  • adj. Unproductive; bringing no gain; unprofitable
  • adj. Lacking spirit; dull; lusterless; cheerless
  • adj. Monotonous or unvaried
  • adj. Sure as death; unerring; fixed; complete
  • adj. Bringing death; deadly.
  • adj. Wanting in religious spirit and vitality
  • adj.
  • adj. Flat; without gloss; -- said of painting which has been applied purposely to have this effect.
  • adj. Not brilliant; not rich.
  • adj. Cut off from the rights of a citizen; deprived of the power of enjoying the rights of property.
  • adj. Not imparting motion or power; See Spindle.
  • adj. Carrying no current, or producing no useful effect; -- said of a conductor in a dynamo or motor, also of a telegraph wire which has no instrument attached and, therefore, is not in use.
  • adj. Out of play; regarded as out of the game; -- said of a ball, a piece, or a player under certain conditions in cricket, baseball, checkers, and some other games.
  • adv. To a degree resembling death; to the last degree; completely; wholly.
  • n. The most quiet or deathlike time; the period of profoundest repose, inertness, or gloom.
  • n. One who is dead; -- commonly used collectively.
  • intransitive v. To die; to lose life or force.
  • transitive v. To make dead; to deaden; to deprive of life, force, or vigor.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having ceased to live; being deprived of life, as an animal or vegetable organism; in that state in which all the functions of life or vital powers have ceased to act; lifeless.
  • Hence Having ceased from action or activity; deprived of animating or moving force; brought to a stop or cessation, final or temporary: as, dead machinery; dead affections.
  • Not endowed with life; destitute of life; inanimate: as, dead matter.
  • Void of sensation or perception; insensible; numb: as, he was dead with sleep; dead to all sense of shame.
  • Having the appearance of being lifeless, as in a swoon.
  • Resembling death; still; motionless; deep: as, a dead sleep; a dead calm.
  • Utter; entire; complete; full: as, a dead stop.
  • Unvarying; unbroken by projections or irregularities.
  • Unemployed; useless; unprofitable: as, dead capital or stock (such as produces no profit).
  • Dull; inactive: as, a dead market.
  • Producing no reverberation; without resonance; dull; heavy: as, a dead sound.
  • Tasteless; vapid; spiritless; flat: said of liquors.
  • Without spiritual life: as, dead works; dead faith.
  • Fixed; sure; unerring: as, a dead certainty.
  • Being in the state of civil death; cut off from the rights of a citizen; deprived of the power of enjoying the rights of property, as one sentenced to imprisonment for life for crime, or, formerly, one who was banished or became a monk.
  • Not communicating motion or power: as, dead steam; the dead spindle of a lathe.
  • Not glossy or brilliant: said of a color or a surface.
  • Out of the game; out of play: said of a ball or a player: as, a dead ball; he is dead.
  • A law, ordinance, or legal instrument which, through long-continued and uninterrupted disuse or disregard, has lost its actual although not its formal authority.
  • Nautical, an old name for the reef- or gasket-ends carelessly left dangling under the yard when the sail is furled, instead of being tucked in.
  • n. The culminating point, as of the cold of winter, or of the darkness or stillness of the night.
  • n. plural Material thrown out in digging; specifically, in mining, worthless rock; attle: same as gob in coal-mining. Also (dialectal) deeds.—
  • n. [Prop. a var. of death; cf. deadly = deathly, dead-day = death-day, etc.] Death.
  • n. A complete failure in recitation.
  • To become dead; lose life or force.
  • To make a complete failure in recitation.
  • To make dead; deprive of life, consciousness, force, or vigor; dull; deaden.
  • To cause to fail in recitation: said of a teacher who puzzles a scholar.
  • In a dead or dull manner.
  • To a degree approaching death; deathly; to the last degree: as, to be dead sleepy; he was dead drunk.
  • Entirely; completely: as, he was dead sure that he was right.
  • Directly; exactly; diametrically: as, the wind was dead ahead.
  • In golf, said of a ball: when it falls without rolling;
  • when it lies so near a hole that the player is “dead sure” to hole it;
  • when it lacks life or resiliency.
  • In electricity, said of a circuit which is not connected with any source of electric power, either directly, or indirectly, as by induction.
  • Said of molten metal when it is thick and sluggish, either from insufficient melting, or from having stood too long in a ladle.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. devoid of activity
  • adj. no longer having force or relevance
  • n. a time when coldness (or some other quality associated with death) is intense
  • adv. completely and without qualification; used informally as intensifiers
  • adj. complete
  • adj. not surviving in active use
  • adv. quickly and without warning
  • adj. out of use or operation because of a fault or breakdown
  • adj. devoid of physical sensation; numb
  • adj. not yielding a return
  • adj. lacking acoustic resonance
  • n. people who are no longer living
  • adj. (followed by `to') not showing human feeling or sensitivity; unresponsive
  • adj. very tired
  • adj. drained of electric charge; discharged
  • adj. not circulating or flowing
  • adj. physically inactive
  • adj. no longer having or seeming to have or expecting to have life
  • adj. unerringly accurate
  • adj. not showing characteristics of life especially the capacity to sustain life; no longer exerting force or having energy or heat
  • adj. lacking resilience or bounce

Etymologies

Middle English ded, from Old English dēad; see dheu-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English ded, deed, from Old English dēad, from Proto-Germanic *daudaz. Compare West Frisian dead, Dutch dood, German tot, Danish død. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Total nonsense..dead guys doing spinal surgeries on dead guys and what not..

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke's Gibberish

  • Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been _dead_ four days.

    The Life of Jesus Christ for the Young

  • In such a sentence as “That fierce lion who came here is dead, ” the class of “lion, ” which we may call the animal class, would be referred to by concording prefixes no less than six times, —with the demonstrative (“that”), the qualifying adjective, the noun itself, the relative pronoun, the subjective prefix to the verb of the relative clause, and the subjective prefix to the verb of the main clause (“is dead”).

    Chapter 5. Form in Language: Grammatical Concepts

  • Feldscher during twenty years for nothing and knew that a wound was a wound; when a man was dead he was _dead_.

    The Dark Forest

  • And in that register it says that he is dead -- _dead_, I tell you -- and what is more, that he was killed by accident.

    Pan

  • You can do so _spiritually_, and some of you do it, and the consequence is that you are dead, _dead_, DEAD!

    Expositions of Holy Scripture Psalms

  • I could not bear it, and the demon of jealousy had full possession of me, young as I was, and sometimes, when I saw him preferred to me, I wished him dead, _dead_, just as he is now.

    Bessie's Fortune A Novel

  • Men do not labour over the ignoble and petty dead -- and why should not the _dead_ be

    Life of Lord Byron, Vol. 5 (of 6) With His Letters and Journals

  • *wonders if maus is rrilly dead, or onlee mostly dead*

    Yeah – you were rite Pete - Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger?

  • _It is rather for us_ to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that _these dead_ shall not have died in vain; that _this nation_, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    Practical Grammar and Composition

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Comments

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  • His horse was trapt in the earthie stringes of tree rootes, which though their increase was stubbed downe to the grounde, yet were they not vtterly deaded, but hop'd for an after resurrection.

    - Thomas Nashe, The Unfortunate Traveller, 1594

    April 14, 2010


  • The lawyers, Bob, know too much.
    They are chums of the books of old John Marshall.
    They know it all, what a dead hand Wrote,
    A stiff dead hand and its knuckles crumbling,
    The bones of the fingers a thin white ash.
    The lawyers know
    a dead man’s thoughts too well.

    - Carl Sandburg, 'The Lawyers Know Too Much'.

    September 22, 2009

  • "In one of Studs's interviews, the chief of the trauma unit at a Chicago hospital, talking about how a doctor should deal with the family of a young person who has just died traumatically, says that, when he introduces himself, 'they won't even remember my name. Sit them down. Sit down with them. Look into their eyes. If you can, hold on to them and say, 'it's bad news.' And they'll say, 'Is he dead?' Or they just look at you. You have to use the word, you have to say it: 'He's dead.' If you say he's 'expired,' he's 'passed away,' they don't hear that… It's very important to put yourself into their shoes, but you've got to say the word 'dead.' You've got to give them the finality of it.'"
    - Tom Engelhardt, tomdispatch.com, 9 Dec 2008.
    Reference to Studs is of course to Studs Terkel.

    December 10, 2008

  • In Italian, stones are women (pietra, pl. pietre).

    July 2, 2008

  • And buy him some pop rocks.

    July 2, 2008

  • *Relieved* He's agreed to stop sulking at midnight. As long as I take him for double walkies tomorrow.

    July 1, 2008

  • Hey, I never said it was accurate, just that I was amused.

    *pats stone* There, there.

    July 1, 2008

  • My stone disagrees. You've really upset him.

    July 1, 2008

  • I think the last definition is what you're looking for, yarb: "completely and without qualification; used informally as intensifiers".

    I think my favourite is "as lifeless as a stone".

    July 1, 2008

  • That's insane!

    July 1, 2008

  • "Abbreviation for 'dead on arrival' at the emergency room." *scratches head*

    July 1, 2008

  • I like murdered by surprise attack for political reasons. Weirdnet's been reading tabloids again.

    July 1, 2008

  • Weirdnet going to town on this one, but omitting the slang sense of "very, extremely"...

    July 1, 2008

  • What e used to do
    were make this doll speak
    wi a dead queer voice -
    bloody great, it were -
    just like it talkin.

    - Peter Reading, 5x5x5x5x5, 1983

    July 1, 2008