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

  • adj. Causing or tending to cause death: deadly weapons; a deadly spill of radioactive waste products. See Synonyms at fatal.
  • adj. Suggestive of death: a deadly pallor.
  • adj. Aiming or wanting to kill; implacable: deadly enemies.
  • adj. Destructive in effect: gave the film a deadly review.
  • adj. Tending to take away vitality, effectiveness, or force: the deadly habit of procrastination.
  • adj. Absolute; utter: deadly concentration.
  • adj. Extreme or terrible: worked under deadly strain.
  • adj. Extremely accurate; unerring: She is a deadly shot with the bow.
  • adj. Dull, tedious, and boring: a deadly prose style.
  • adv. So as to suggest death.
  • adv. To an extreme: deadly serious.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Subject to death; mortal.
  • adj. Causing death; lethal.
  • adj. Very accurate (of aiming with a bow, firearm, etc.).
  • adj. Very boring.
  • adj. Excellent, awesome, cool.
  • adv. Fatally, mortally.
  • adv. In a way which suggests death.
  • adv. Extremely.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Capable of causing death; mortal; fatal; destructive; certain or likely to cause death.
  • adj. Aiming or willing to destroy; implacable; desperately hostile; flagitious.
  • adj. Subject to death; mortal.
  • adv. In a manner resembling, or as if produced by, death; deathly.
  • adv. In a manner to occasion death; mortally.
  • adv. In an implacable manner; destructively.
  • adv. Extremely.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Mortal; liable to death; being in danger of death.
  • Occasioning or capable of causing death, physical or spiritual; mortal; fatal; destructive: as, a deadly blow or wound.
  • Mortal; implacable; aiming or tending to kill or destroy: as, a deadly enemy; deadly malice; a deadly feud.
  • Adapted for producing death or great bodily injury: as, a deadly weapon; a deadly drug.
  • Dead.
  • Very great; excessive.
  • Mortally.
  • Implacably; destructively.
  • In a manner resembling death; deathly: as, deadly pale or wan.
  • Extremely; excessively.

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

  • adj. of an instrument of certain death
  • adv. (used as intensives) extremely
  • adj. involving loss of divine grace or spiritual death
  • adv. as if dead
  • adj. extremely poisonous or injurious; producing venom
  • adj. exceedingly harmful
  • adj. (of a disease) having a rapid course and violent effect
  • adj. causing or capable of causing death


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English dēadlīċ (adj.), dēadlīċe (adv.), corresponding to dead +‎ -ly. Cognate with Dutch dodelijk, German tödlich.


  • If it was not such a deadly climate, you would find much to interest you in these parts; but it is _very deadly_.

    The Romance of Isabel Lady Burton Volume II

  • As she watched him reading, his face pale, his expression deadly serious, as he seemed to be fiercely concentrating, she guessed that he was going over those parts of the letter that seemed to suggest she was needed by her mother in Enniscorthy.


  • Quentin Forbes was slowly returning his pen to his pocket, his eyes following Wolmar, his expression deadly.

    A Different Light

  • You see, Thelma Lou, this is what we call the deadly game (INAUDIBLE) apes.

    CNN Transcript Mar 5, 2006

  • BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: A scathing report details what it calls deadly deficiencies at Children's Hospital in Boston.

    CNN Transcript Sep 22, 2003

  • The Pentagon says that most of the battle deaths they've suffered now are from what they call deadly deceptions, in which fanatical Iraqi fighters are posing either as civilians or pretending to surrender.

    CNN Transcript Mar 24, 2003

  • The United States led the world now to agreeing to phase out what we call the deadly dozen, the 12 worst chemicals that wash off the land into the sea and kill fish.

    Press Briefing By Mike Mccurry And Dan Tarullo

  • Laura saw that the spirit of teasing was strong in Charles this morning and suspected that he wanted to stir up what he called the deadly feud, and she hastened to change the conversation by saying, 'You quite impressed Guy with your translation of Fra Cristoforo.'

    The Heir of Redclyffe

  • The charge details that the "assault" was committed with "infected saliva," which it describes as a deadly weapon.

    The Bilerico Project

  • The demonstrators, who arrived largely from Toronto and Montreal, are part of worldwide Tamil protests against what they describe as a deadly military offensive by the Sri Lankan military.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Or something good in Dublin

    December 12, 2007