American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The human skull as a symbol of mortality or death.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The skull of a human skeleton, or a figure or painting representing such a skull.
- n. Specifically, in the sixteenth century, a ring with a death's-head on it.
- n. A name of one of the saimiri or titi monkeys of South America, Chrysothrix sciureus.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A naked human skull as the emblem of death; the head of the conventional personification of death.
- n. a human skull (or a representation of a human skull) used as a symbol of death
“Daniel Hertzberg for The Wall Street Journal Colson Whitehead The rollicking gusto of some of the writing, with its overheated adjectives and over-the-top images, is hard to resist: It was the passionless, death's-head skull of a long-dead corpse, instinct with hellish life; and the glazed eyes swollen and bulbous betrayed the thing's blindness.”
“The death's-head hawk moth is the largest moth to fly in Britain and has the ability to fly into beehives in search of honey without being stung.”
“The death's-head, a forbiddingly charismatic insect with a distinctive skull pattern on its thorax, has been sighted along the south coast at Arne, Dorset, and in Plymouth, Devon, in what is proving to be a vintage autumn for exotic migratory moths.”
“The death's-head hawk-moth, made famous by the Silence Of The Lambs film, has turned up at the RSPB's Arne nature reserve in Dorset, as well as in Plymouth.”
“As the favoured signature of the serial killer in The Silence of the Lambs, the death's-head hawk moth is a harbinger of pestilence and death.”
“Sure, politicians like Coburn and Burr can dress them up, but you'd recognize those death's-head grins anywhere.”
“The cub painted a high-light picture of his poor little room, its oil-stove and the one chair, and of the death's-head tramp who kept him company and who looked as if he had just emerged from twenty years of solitary confinement in some fortress dungeon.”
“His large gray eyes were mainly responsible for this feeling, and they blazed out feverishly from what was almost a death's-head, so thin was the face, the skin of which was a ghastly, dull, dead white.”
“And all the while, like a death's-head at the feat, silent and motionless, her own unfortunate boy sat and stared at me across the table.”
“His hands were bony claws, his emaciated face a sheer death's-head.”
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