Lethal definition

lēthəl
Causing or capable of causing death; fatal or deadly.
adjective
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2
Causing or capable of causing death.

A lethal weapon.

adjective
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adjective
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(chemistry) One of the higher alcohols of the paraffine series obtained from spermaceti as a white crystalline solid.
noun
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Extremely harmful; devastating.

Accusations lethal to the candidate's image.

adjective
2
3
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The definition of lethal is something very harmful or destructive, especially something that could cause death.

A gun shot wound is an example of something that could be described as a lethal wound.

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Origin of lethal

  • Late Latin lēthālis alteration (probably influenced by Lēthē Lethe) of Latin lētālis from lētum death

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Latin lÄ“tālis (“mortal, deadly"), improperly written lethalis, from letum (“death"), improperly written as lethum, as associated with Greek λήθη (lethe, “forgetfulness").

    From Wiktionary

  • Abbreviation of “lauric acid ethereal salt", so called because it occurs in the ethereal salt of lauric acid.

    From Wiktionary