Last modified on 15 July 2014, at 11:52

deadly

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Old English dēadlīċ (adj.), dēadlīċe (adv.), corresponding to dead +‎ -ly. Cognate with Dutch dodelijk, German tödlich.

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

deadly (comparative deadlier or more deadly, superlative deadliest or most deadly)

  1. (obsolete) Subject to death; mortal.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, Book XVII:
      And than he began to tremble ryght harde whan the dedly fleysh began to beholde the spirituall thynges.
    • Wyclif Bible, Romans i. 23
      The image of a deadly man.
  2. Causing death; lethal.
  3. Aiming or willing to destroy; implacable; desperately hostile.
    deadly enemies
  4. (by extension) Very accurate (of aiming with a bow, firearm, etc.).
    • 1879, Richard Jefferies, chapter 1, The Amateur Poacher:
      But then I had the [massive] flintlock by me for protection. ¶ [] The linen-press and a chest on the top of it formed, however, a very good gun-carriage; and, thus mounted, aim could be taken out of the window […], and a 'bead' could be drawn upon Molly, the dairymaid, kissing the fogger behind the hedge, little dreaming that the deadly tube was levelled at them.
  5. (informal) Very boring.
    • 1907, Robert Chambers, chapter 6, The Younger Set:
      “I don't mean all of your friends—only a small proportion—which, however, connects your circle with that deadly, idle, brainless bunch—the insolent chatterers at the opera, the gorged dowagers, […]!”
  6. (informal) Excellent, awesome, cool.

TranslationsEdit

Derived termsEdit

AdverbEdit

deadly (comparative more deadly, superlative most deadly)

  1. (obsolete) Fatally, mortally.
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Folio Society 2006, p. 16:
      perceiving himselfe deadly wounded by a shot received in his body, being by his men perswaded to come off and retire himselfe from out the throng, answered, he would not now so neere his end, begin to turn his face from his enemie
  2. In a way which suggests death.
    Her face suddenly became deadly white.
  3. Extremely.
    deadly weary — Orrery.
    so deadly cunning a man — Arbuthnot.

TranslationsEdit

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Related termsEdit