(third-person singular simple present kills, present participle killing, simple past and past participle killed)
- To put to death; to extinguish the life of.
- Smoking kills more people each year than alcohol and drugs combined.
- There is conclusive evidence that smoking kills.
- (fiction) To invent a story that conveys the death of (a character).
- Shakespeare killed Romeo and Juliet for drama.
- To render inoperative.
- He killed the engine and turned off the headlights, but remained in the car, waiting.
- Kirk Douglas, (actor, as Peter), The Fury (1978):
- Peter: Ask Childers if it was worth his arm.
- Policeman: What did you do to his arm, Peter?
- Peter: I killed it, with a machine gun.
- (figuratively) To stop, cease, or render void; to terminate.
- The editor decided to kill the story.
- The news that a hurricane had destroyed our beach house killed our plans to sell it.
- My computer wouldn't respond until I killed some of the running processes.
- (figuratively, hyperbolic) To amaze, exceed, stun, or otherwise incapacitate.
- That night, she was dressed to kill.
- That joke always kills me.
- (figuratively) To produce feelings of dissatisfaction or revulsion in.
- It kills me to throw out three whole turkeys, but I can't get anyone to take them and they've already started to go bad.
- It kills me to learn how many poor people are practically starving in this country while rich moguls spend such outrageous amounts on useless luxuries.
- To use up or to waste.
- I'm just doing this to kill time.
- He told the bartender, pointing at the bottle of scotch he planned to consume, "Leave it, I'm going to kill the bottle."
- (figuratively, informal) To exert an overwhelming effect on.
- Between the two of us, we killed the rest of the case of beer.
- Look at the amount of destruction to the enemy base. We pretty much killed their ability to retaliate anymore.
- (figuratively, hyperbolic) To overpower, overwhelm, or defeat.
- The team had absolutely killed their traditional rivals, and the local sports bars were raucous with celebrations.
- To force a company out of business.
- (intransitive, informal) To produce intense pain.
- You don't ever want to get rabies. The doctor will have to give you multiple shots and they really kill.
- (figuratively, informal, hyperbolic) To punish severely.
- My parents are going to kill me!
- (sports) To strike a ball or similar object with such force and placement as to make a shot that is impossible to defend against, usually winning a point.
- (mathematics, idiomatic, informal) To cause to assume the value zero.
- (computing, Internet, IRC) To disconnect (a user) forcibly from the network.
From Middle English killen, kyllen, cüllen (“to strike, beat, cut”), possibly a variant of Old English cwellan (“to kill, murder, execute”) (see quell), or from Old Norse kolla (“to hit on the head, harm”) (compare Norwegian kylla (“to poll”), Middle Dutch kollen (“to knock down”), Icelandic kollur (“top, head”), see coll, cole). Compare also Middle Dutch killen, kellen (“to kill”), Middle Low German killen (“to ache strongly, to cause one great pain”), Middle High German kellen.
From Middle Dutch kille via Dutch kil