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

  • n. The act of dying; termination of life.
  • n. The state of being dead.
  • n. The cause of dying: Drugs were the death of him.
  • n. A manner of dying: a heroine's death.
  • n. A personification of the destroyer of life, usually represented as a skeleton holding a scythe.
  • n. Bloodshed; murder.
  • n. Execution.
  • n. Law Civil death.
  • n. The termination or extinction of something: the death of imperialism.
  • idiom at death's door Near to death; gravely ill or injured.
  • idiom be the death of To distress or irritate to an intolerable degree.
  • idiom death on Opposed to or strict about: Our boss is death on casual dressing.
  • idiom put to death To execute.
  • idiom to death To an intolerable degree; extremely: worried to death.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The cessation of life and all associated processes; the end of an organism's existence as an entity independent from its environment and its return to an inert, nonliving state.
  • n. The personification of death as a hooded figure with a scythe; the Grim Reaper.
  • n. The final part of something.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The cessation of all vital phenomena without capability of resuscitation, either in animals or plants.
  • n. Total privation or loss; extinction; cessation.
  • n. Manner of dying; act or state of passing from life.
  • n. Cause of loss of life.
  • n. Personified: The destroyer of life, -- conventionally represented as a skeleton with a scythe.
  • n. Danger of death.
  • n. Murder; murderous character.
  • n. Loss of spiritual life.
  • n. Anything so dreadful as to be like death.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Cessation of life; that state of a being, animal or vegetable, in which there is a total and permanent cessation of all the vital functions, In the abstract.
  • n. Actual.
  • n. Figurative or poetical.
  • n. [In poetry and poetical prose death is often personified.
  • n. A general mortality; a deadly plague; a fatal epidemic: as, the black death (which see, below).
  • n. The cessation of life in a particular part of an organic body, as a bone.
  • n. A skeleton, or the figure of a skeleton, as the symbol of mortality: as, a death's head.
  • n. A cause, agent, or instrument of death.
  • n. Imminent deadly peril.
  • n. A capital offense; an offense punishable with death.
  • n. The state or place of the dead.
  • n. The mode or manner of dying.
  • n. Something as dreadful as death.
  • n. In Scripture: The reverse of spiritual life; the mere physical and sensuous life, without any activity of the spiritual or religious nature.
  • n. After physical death, the final doom of those who have lived and died in separation from God and the divine life.
  • n. A slaughtering or killing.
  • n. To be passionately fond of; have a great liking or capacity for: as, he was death on the sherry.
  • n. Mortally; to death.
  • n. Synonyms Death, Decease, Demise. See decease.

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

  • n. the time when something ends
  • n. a final state
  • n. the absence of life or state of being dead
  • n. the personification of death
  • n. the permanent end of all life functions in an organism or part of an organism
  • n. the event of dying or departure from life
  • n. the time at which life ends; continuing until dead
  • n. the act of killing


Middle English deeth, from Old English dēath; see dheu-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English deeth, from Old English dēaþ, from Proto-Germanic *dauþuz (compare West Frisian dead, Dutch dood, German Tod, Swedish död), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰówtus. More at die. (Wiktionary)


  • Promoted to Headline (H3) on 8/21/09: On 'death panels,' 'socialized medicine' and other red herrings yahooBuzzArticleHeadline = 'On \'death panels, \' \'socialized medicine\ 'and other red herrings'; yahooBuzzArticleSummary = 'Article: Ain\'t it a shame our so-called liberal media is obsessed with "death panels" of fevered imaginations rather than death panels that exist in the real world, notably in our present health-care system?'

    On 'death panels,' 'socialized medicine' and other red herrings

  • He felt that he was dying -- "The taste of death," he said to his sister-in-law, "is already on my tongue -- _I taste death_; and who will be near to support my Constance if you go away?"

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, Number 361, November, 1845.

  • So in the next verse, "If he continue a day or two," his death is not to be avenged by the _death_ of the _master_, as in that case the crime was to be adjudged _manslaughter_, and not

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 1 of 4

  • So in the next verse, "If he continue a day or two," his death is not to be avenged by the _death_ of the _master_, as in that case the crime was to be adjudged _manslaughter_, and not _murder_.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 1 of 4

  • So in the next verse -- "If he continues a day or two," his death shall not be avenged by the _death_ of the _master_, for in that case the crime was to be adjudged

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 1 of 4

  • Now, sir, he offers us nothing but unconditional submission to political death; and not political alone, but absolute _death_.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

  • All the distresses growing out of inequalities in human condition; as wealth and power on one side, and poverty and weakness on the other, were terminated by death; the grave brought both to a level: the small and the great are there, and there, (that is, in the grave,) he adds, the servant is free from his master; made so, evidently, by _death_.

    Cotton is King, and Pro-Slavery Arguments Comprising the Writings of Hammond, Harper, Christy, Stringfellow, Hodge, Bledsoe, and Cartrwright on This Important Subject

  • I'm going to shut this, and it's like the good-bye of death -- a mean and ugly -- _death_.

    The Marriage of William Ashe

  • -- Comp. edwīt-līf. līf-bysig, adj. _ (striving for life or death), weary of life, in torment of death_: nom. sg.,


  • -- Comp. edwît-lîf. lîf-bysig, adj. _ (striving for life or death), weary of life, in torment of death_: nom. sg.,



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  • “Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.�?
    Norman Cousins

    October 27, 2009

  • "He bathed my temples and his hands smelt like death."
    -The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux

    What on Earth does death smell like???

    July 25, 2009

  • false opinions, severe illness

    July 22, 2009

  • In Peer Gynt, Death is known as the Button-Moulder. God commands him to melt Peer down to a button.

    April 20, 2009

  • Be happy! There is so much to appreciate in this life, you can find good in all things! Even death, you have such fear over this subject. But just stop and look! Look and see that there is joy! The joy for the one who has past to another plane.�?
    - A Duck in Inwood Hill Park,
    New York City, 2007, via Coryelle Kramer

    March 13, 2009

  • "And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him."

    November 12, 2007

  • "Death is but a sleep and a forgetting..." (Wordsworth)


    If large rats can be called squirrels,
    and death can be called sleep,
    then ANY thing is possible!

    --Jan Cox

    August 19, 2007

  • "There is no such thing as a natural death. Nothing that happens to Man is ever natural, since his presence calls the whole world into question. All men must die, but for every man his death is an accident. And even if he knows it and consents to it, an unjustifiable violation." - J.R.R. Tolkien

    March 13, 2007