- The definition of deadly is something likely to be terminal or the cause of your demise, or something complete, something hateful, or something extremely boring.
- Cancer that has spread so far that your doctor tells you that you'll live only a few more weeks is an example of something that would be described as deadly.
- If you are completely serious about something and will not change your mind at all, this is an example of when you are deadly serious.
- If you give your worst enemy a hateful glare, this is an example of when your glare can be described as deadly.
- If a class goes on for hours and hours and the teacher is droning on about something you don't care about, this is an example of when the class is deadly.
- Deadly is defined as something resembling or related to death, or is something that is true to an extreme extent.
- A vampire who is never able to see the light is an example of someone who stalk his prey while standing deadly still.
- If you are completely serious about something and will not change your mind at all, this is an example of a time when you are deadly serious.
- causing death or likely to cause death: a deadly poison
- to the death; mortal or implacable: deadly combat, deadly enemies
- typical of death: deadly pallor
- very harmful; destructive
- extreme or excessive: deadly silence
- out-and-out; utter: with deadly gravity
- oppressively tiresome: a deadly bore
- perfectly accurate: deadly aim
- Theol. causing spiritual death: the seven deadly sins
Origin of deadlyMiddle English dedlich from Old English deadlic: see dead and -ly
- in a way suggestive of death: to lie deadly still
- extremely or excessively: deadly serious
- Causing or tending to cause death: deadly weapons; a deadly spill of radioactive waste products. See Synonyms at fatal.
- Suggestive of death: a deadly pallor.
- Aiming or wanting to kill; implacable: deadly enemies.
- a. Destructive in effect: gave the film a deadly review.b. Tending to take away vitality, effectiveness, or force: the deadly habit of procrastination.
- Absolute; utter: deadly concentration.
- Extreme or terrible: worked under deadly strain.
- Extremely accurate; unerring: She is a deadly shot with the bow.
- Dull, tedious, and boring: a deadly prose style.
- So as to suggest death.
- To an extreme: deadly serious.
(comparative deadlier or more deadly, superlative deadliest or most deadly)
Old English dēadlīċ (adj.), dēadlīċe (adv.), corresponding to dead + -ly. Cognate with Dutch dodelijk, German tödlich.