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

  • adj. Liable or subject to death.
  • adj. Of or relating to humankind; human: the mortal limits of understanding.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or accompanying death: mortal throes.
  • adj. Causing death; fatal: a mortal wound. See Synonyms at fatal.
  • adj. Fighting or fought to the death; unrelenting: a mortal enemy; a mortal attack.
  • adj. Of great intensity or severity; dire: mortal terror.
  • adj. Conceivable: no mortal reason for us to go.
  • adj. Used as an intensive: a mortal fool.
  • n. A human.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A human; someone susceptible to death.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Subject to death; destined to die.
  • adj. Destructive to life; causing or occasioning death; terminating life; exposing to or deserving death; deadly
  • adj. Fatally vulnerable; vital.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the time of death.
  • adj. Affecting as if with power to kill; deathly.
  • adj. Human; belonging to man, who is mortal.
  • adj. Very painful or tedious; wearisome.
  • n. A being subject to death; a human being; man.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Subject to death; destined to die.
  • Human; of or pertaining to man, who is subject to death: as, mortal knowledge; mortal power.
  • Deadly; destructive to life; causing death, or that may or must cause death; fatal.
  • Deadly; implacable; to the death; such as threatens life: as, mortal hatred.
  • Such that injury or disease affecting it may cause death.
  • Bringing death; noting the time of death.
  • Incurring the penalty of spiritual death; inferring divine condemnation: opposed to venial: as, a mortal sin (see sin).
  • Extreme; very great or serious: as, mortal offense.
  • Long and uninterrupted; felt to be long and tedious.
  • Euphemistically, confounded; cursed: as, not a mortal thing to eat.
  • Drunk.
  • n. Man, as a being subject to death; a human being.
  • n. That which is mortal.
  • Extremely; excessively; perfectly: as, mortal angry; mortal drunk.

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

  • adj. subject to death
  • n. a human being
  • adj. involving loss of divine grace or spiritual death
  • adj. unrelenting and deadly
  • adj. causing or capable of causing death


Middle English, from Old French, from Latin mortālis, from mors, mort-, death; see mer- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman mortal, Middle French mortal, and their source Latin mortālis, from mors ("death"). (Wiktionary)



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  • contronymic: fatal as in "mortal blow";living beings, "mortals"

    December 10, 2006