If you have to have a report in by 5 PM or it is considered late, 5 PM is an example of a deadline.
- Historical a line around a prison beyond which a prisoner could go only at the risk of being shot by a guard
- a boundary which it is forbidden to cross
- the latest time by which something must be done or completed: a deadline for payment, publication, etc.
- A time limit, as for payment of a debt or completion of an assignment.
- A boundary line in a prison that prisoners can cross only at the risk of being shot.
transitive verbdead·lined, dead·lin·ing, dead·lines
(third-person singular simple present deadlines, present participle deadlining, simple past and past participle deadlined)
The context of a due date originated in journalism, probably from an earlier usage in printing, representing a guideline marked on a plate for a printing press (inside which all content should appear). According to the Oxford English Dictionary, early usage refers simply to lines that do not move, such as one used in angling; slightly later American usage includes a boundary around a prison which prisoners must not cross.