A dead tree in a barren landscape.
- The definition of dead is no longer alive, or it is absolute, lacking in emotion, dull, numb or no longer relevant for some reason.
- A person who has passed away and who is no longer alive is someone who would be described as dead.
- When your career has faltered, you've been fired and have no hope of gaining your position back, this is an example of a time when your career is dead.
- When you speak in a cold and emotionless voice, this is an example of a dead tone of voice.
- When you are absolutely and completely exhausted, this is an example of a time when you are dead tired.
- When a party has become really boring and there's no more excitement, this is an example of a time when the party is dead.
- When the ball is out of play in a game, this is an example of a time when the ball is dead.
- no longer living; having died
- naturally without life; inanimate: dead stones
- such as to suggest death; deathlike: a dead faint
- lacking positive qualities, as of warmth, vitality, interest, brightness, brilliance, etc.: a dead handshake, a dead party, a dead white
- wholly indifferent; insensible: dead to love
- without feeling, motion, or power: his arm hung dead at his side
- not burning; extinguished: dead coals
- extinct: a dead volcano
- characterized by little or no movement or activity; slack, stagnant, etc.: dead water
- designating an axle that supports but does not drive a wheel
- having lost resilience or elasticity: a dead tennis ball
- no longer used or significant; obsolete: dead languages, dead laws
- not fertile; barren: dead soil
- not yielding a return; unproductive: dead capital
- certain as death; unerring; sure: a dead shot
- exact; precise: dead center
- complete; total; absolute: a dead stop
- unvarying; undeviating: dead level
- Informal very tired; exhausted
- having no current passing through: a dead wire
- having lost its charge: a dead battery
- Printing set, but no longer needed for use: dead type
- no longer in play: a dead ball
- barred by a game's rules from making a particular play
Origin of deadMiddle English ded ; from Old English dēad, akin to Old Norse dauthr, Old High German tōt, Gothic dauths: origin, originally past participle of an old verb base appearing in Old Norse deyja, Old Saxon dojan, Old High German touwen, all ; from Indo-European base an unverified form dheu-, die
- completely; absolutely: dead right
- directly: dead ahead
dead in the waterInformal
- at a standstill from the loss of power, momentum, vigor, etc.
- destined for certain failure or ruin; doomed
dead to rights☆
dead to the world
- Having lost life; no longer alive.
- Marked for certain death; doomed: knew when he saw the soldiers that he was a dead man.
- a. Having the physical appearance of death: a dead pallor.b. Lacking feeling or sensitivity; numb or unresponsive: Passersby were dead to our pleas for help.c. Weary and worn-out; exhausted.
- a. Not having the capacity to live; inanimate or inert.b. Not having the capacity to produce or sustain life; barren: dead soil.
- a. No longer in existence, use, or operation: a dead language.b. No longer having significance or relevance: a dead issue.c. Physically inactive; dormant: a dead volcano.
- a. Not commercially productive; idle: dead capital.b. Not circulating or running; stagnant: dead water; dead air.
- a. Devoid of human or vehicular activity; quiet: a dead town.b. Lacking all animation, excitement, or activity; dull: The party being dead, we left early.
- Having no resonance. Used of sounds.
- Having grown cold; having been extinguished: dead coals; a dead flame.
- Lacking elasticity or bounce: That tennis ball is dead.
- a. Not working because of a fault or breakdown: The motor is dead. The phone is dead.b. Not connected to a source of electric current: a dead wire.c. Drained of electric charge; discharged: a dead battery.
- a. Sudden; abrupt: a dead stop.b. Complete; utter: dead silence.c. Exact; unerring: the dead center of a target.
- Sports Out of play. Used of a ball.
- (used with a pl. verb) People who have died: respect for the dead.
- The period exhibiting the greatest degree of intensity: the dead of winter; the dead of night.
- Absolutely; altogether: You can be dead sure of my innocence.
- Directly; exactly: There's a gas station dead ahead.
- Suddenly: She stopped dead on the stairway.
Origin of deadMiddle English ded, from Old English dēad; see dheu-2 in Indo-European roots.
(comparative deader, superlative deadest)
- (not comparable) No longer living.
- All of my grandparents are dead.
- (hyperbolic) Figuratively, not alive; lacking life
- (of another person) So hated that they are absolutely ignored.
- He is dead to me.
- Without emotion.
- She stood with dead face and limp arms, unresponsive to my plea.
- Stationary; static.
- the dead load on the floor; a dead lift.
- Without interest to one of the senses; dull; flat.
- dead air; a dead glass of soda.
- dead time; dead fields; also in compounds.
- (not comparable, of a machine, device, or electrical circuit) Completely inactive; without power; without a signal.
- OK, the circuit's dead. Go ahead and cut the wire.
- Now that the motor's dead you can reach in and extract the spark plugs.
- (not comparable) Broken or inoperable.
- That monitor is dead; don’t bother hooking it up.
- (not comparable) No longer used or required.
- There are several dead laws still on the books regulating where horses may be hitched.
- Is this beer glass dead?
- (not comparable, sports) Not in play.
- Once the ball crosses the foul line, it's dead.
- (not comparable, baseball, slang, 1800s) Tagged out.
- (not comparable) Full and complete.
- dead stop; dead sleep; dead giveaway; dead silence
- (not comparable) Exact.
- dead center; dead aim; a dead eye; a dead level
- Experiencing pins and needles (paresthesia).
- After sitting on my hands for a while, my arms became dead.
- (informal) (Certain to be) in big trouble.
- "You come back here this instant! Oh, when I get my hands on you, you're dead, mister!"
- Constructed so as not to transmit sound; soundless.
- a dead floor
- (law) Cut off from the rights of a citizen; deprived of the power of enjoying the rights of property.
- A person who is banished or who becomes a monk is civilly dead.
- (engineering) Not imparting motion or power.
- the dead spindle of a lathe
(third-person singular simple present deads, present participle deading, simple past and past participle deaded)