Dead meaning

dĕd
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.

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Having lost life; no longer alive.
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Marked for certain death; doomed.

Knew when he saw the soldiers that he was a dead man.

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Having no resonance. Used of sounds.
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Having grown cold; having been extinguished.

Dead coals; a dead flame.

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Lacking elasticity or bounce.

That tennis ball is dead.

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Out of play. Used of a ball.
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People who have died.

Respect for the dead.

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The period exhibiting the greatest degree of intensity.

The dead of winter; the dead of night.

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Absolutely; altogether.

You can be dead sure of my innocence.

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Directly; exactly.

There's a gas station dead ahead.

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Suddenly.

She stopped dead on the stairway.

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No longer living; having died.
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Naturally without life; inanimate.

Dead stones.

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Such as to suggest death; deathlike.

A dead faint.

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Lacking positive qualities, as of warmth, vitality, interest, brightness, brilliance, etc.

A dead handshake, a dead party, a dead white color.

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Wholly indifferent; insensible.

Dead to love.

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Without feeling, motion, or power.

His arm hung dead at his side.

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Characterized by little or no movement or activity; slack, stagnant, etc.

Dead water.

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Designating an axle that supports but does not drive a wheel.
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Having lost resilience or elasticity.

A dead tennis ball.

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No longer used or significant; obsolete.

Dead languages, dead laws.

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Certain as death; unerring; sure.

A dead shot.

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Exact; precise.

Dead center.

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Complete; total; absolute.

A dead stop.

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Unvarying; undeviating.

Dead level.

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Very tired; exhausted.
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Set, but no longer needed for use.

Dead type.

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The time of greatest darkness, most intense cold, etc.

The dead of night, the dead of winter.

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Completely; absolutely.

Dead wrong, dead set against the idea.

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Directly.

Dead ahead.

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Having lost life; no longer alive.
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Lacking feeling or sensitivity; numb or unresponsive.
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(not comparable) No longer living.

All of my grandparents are dead.

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(hyperbolic) Figuratively, not alive; lacking life.
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(of another person) So hated that they are absolutely ignored.

He is dead to me.

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Without emotion.

She stood with dead face and limp arms, unresponsive to my plea.

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Stationary; static.

The dead load on the floor; a dead lift.

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Without interest to one of the senses; dull; flat.

Dead air; a dead glass of soda.

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Unproductive.

Dead time; dead fields; also in compounds.

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(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.

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(not comparable) Broken or inoperable.

That monitor is dead; don’t bother hooking it up.

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(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?

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(not comparable, sports) Not in play.

Once the ball crosses the foul line, it's dead.

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(not comparable, baseball, slang, 1800s) Tagged out.
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(not comparable) Full and complete.

Dead stop; dead sleep; dead giveaway; dead silence.

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(not comparable) Exact.

Dead center; dead aim; a dead eye; a dead level.

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Experiencing pins and needles (paresthesia).

After sitting on my hands for a while, my arms became dead.

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(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!"

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Constructed so as not to transmit sound; soundless.

A dead floor.

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(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.

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(engineering) Not imparting motion or power.

The dead spindle of a lathe.

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He hit the target dead in the centre.

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She’s dead sexy.

He’s dead stupid.

That’s dead sure!

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​(in the singular) Time when coldness, darkness, or stillness is most intense.

The dead of night. The dead of winter.

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(in the plural) Those who have died.

Have respect for the dead.

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(archaic) Formerly, "be dead" was used instead of "have died" as the perfect tense of "die".
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To prevent by disabling; stop.
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To make dead; to deaden; to deprive of life, force, or vigour.
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(UK, slang) To kill.
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dead and buried
  • No longer in use or under consideration:.
    All past animosities are dead and buried now.
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dead in the water
  • Unable to function or move:.
    The crippled ship was dead in the water. With no leadership, the project was dead in the water.
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dead to rights
  • In the very act of making an error or committing a crime:.
    The police caught the thief dead to rights with my silverware.
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dead to the world
  • Soundly asleep.
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over my dead body
  • Used to express dramatic refusal.
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dead in the water
  • At a standstill from the loss of power, momentum, vigor, etc.
  • Destined for certain failure or ruin; doomed.
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dead to rights
  • In an undeniably incriminating situation; red-handed.
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dead to someone
  • Dismissed from someone's consideration, affections, etc.
    Because he betrayed the family, he is dead to me.
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dead to the world
  • Sound asleep.
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the dead
  • Those who have died.
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Origin of dead

  • Middle English ded from Old English dēad dheu-2 in Indo-European roots
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • From Middle English ded, deed, from Old English dēad, from Proto-Germanic *daudaz. Compare West Frisian dead, Dutch dood, German tot, Danish død.
    From Wiktionary