See also: déad and DEAD

English

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Etymology

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From Middle English ded, deed, from Old English dēad, from Proto-West Germanic *daud, from Proto-Germanic *daudaz.

Compare West Frisian dead, dea, Dutch dood, German tot, Danish, Norwegian død, Norwegian Nynorsk daud.

Pronunciation

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Adjective

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dead (not generally comparable, comparative deader, superlative deadest)

 
A dead pigeon
  1. (usually not comparable) No longer living; deceased. (Also used as a noun.)
    • 1968, Ray Thomas, "Legend of a Mind", The Moody Blues, In Search of the Lost Chord.
      Timothy Leary's dead. / No, no no no, he's outside, looking in.
    All of my grandparents are dead.
    Have respect for the dead.
    The villagers are mourning their dead.
    The dead are always with us, in our hearts.
    raise the dead
    wake the dead
  2. (usually not comparable) Devoid of living things; barren.
    a dead planet
  3. (hyperbolic) Figuratively, not alive; lacking life.
    • 1600, William Shakespeare, As You Like It, act III, scene 3:
      When a man's verses cannot be understood, nor a man's good wit seconded with the forward child, understanding, it strikes a man more dead than a great reckoning in a little room.
  4. (of another person) So hated or offensive as to be absolutely shunned, ignored or ostracized.
    He is dead to me.
  5. Doomed; marked for death; as good as dead (literally or as a hyperbole).
    "You come back here this instant! Oh, you're dead, mister!"
    • 2009, Noel Hynd, Midnight in Madrid[1]:
      You're dead. A million and one thoughts pounded her at once. But one overpowered all the others. This time you're dead.
  6. Without emotion; impassive.
    She stood with dead face and limp arms, unresponsive to my plea.
  7. Stationary; static; immobile or immovable.
    the dead load on the floor
    a dead lift
  8. Without interest to one of the senses; dull; flat.
    dead air
    a dead glass of soda.
  9. Unproductive; fallow.
    dead time
    dead fields
    • 2019 April 10, qntm, “CASE HATE RED”, in SCP Foundation[2], archived from the original on 29 May 2024:
      The auditorium opens and the seats fill. As ever, there's a brief, grey dead time while Wheeler waits for all the machinery of the performance to spin up. The anxious feeling is stronger than usual today. It grips him, an uncharacteristic urge to run away. Sure, he thinks. I could just junk my career, right now. Pack it in and make for the stage door. Maybe the taxi'll still be there.
  10. Past, bygone, vanished.
    • 1905, Lord Dunsany [i.e., Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany], The Gods of Pegāna, London: [Charles] Elkin Mathews, [], →OCLC, page 40:
      Then shall the Times that were be Times no more; and it may be that the old, dead days shall return from beyond the Rim, and we who have wept for them shall see those days again, as one who, returning from long travel to his home, comes suddenly on dear, remembered things.
  11. (of a place) Lacking usual activity; unexpectedly quiet or empty of people.
    Antonyms: alive, bustling, busy, crowded, hopping, lively, noisy
    For a Friday night, it's really dead in this restaurant.
  12. (not comparable, of a machine, device, or electrical circuit) Completely inactive; currently without power; without a signal; not live.
    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.
    • 1984, William Gibson, chapter 1, in Neuromancer (Sprawl; book 1), New York, N.Y.: Ace Books, →ISBN, page 3:
      The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.
    • 2008, BioWare, Mass Effect, Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →ISBN, →OCLC, PC, scene: Normandy SR-1:
      Joker: Everything cuts out after that. No comm traffic at all. Just goes dead. There's nothing.
  13. (of a battery) Unable to emit power, being discharged (flat) or faulty.
  14. (not comparable) Broken or inoperable.
    That monitor is dead; don’t bother hooking it up.
  15. (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?
    • 1984, Winston Smock, Technical Writing for Beginners, page 148:
      No mark of any kind should ever be made on a dead manuscript.
    • 2017, Zhaomo Yang, Brian Johannesmeyer, Dead Store Elimination (Still) Considered Harmful:
      In this paper, we survey the set of techniques found in the wild that are intended to prevent data-scrubbing operations from being removed during dead store elimination.
  16. (engineering) Intentionally designed so as not to impart motion or power.
    the dead spindle of a lathe
    A dead axle, also called a lazy axle, is not part of the drivetrain, but is instead free-rotating.
  17. (not comparable, sports) Not in play.
    Once the ball crosses the foul line, it's dead.
  18. (not comparable, golf, of a golf ball) Lying so near the hole that the player is certain to hole it in the next stroke.
  19. (not comparable, baseball, slang, 1800s) Tagged out.
  20. (not comparable) Full and complete (usually applied to nouns involving lack of motion, sound, activity, or other signs of life).
    dead stop
    dead sleep
    dead giveaway
    dead silence
  21. (not comparable) Exact; on the dot.
    dead center
    dead aim
    a dead eye
    a dead level
  22. Experiencing pins and needles (paresthesia).
    After sitting on my hands for a while, my arms became dead.
  23. (acoustics) Constructed so as not to reflect or transmit sound; soundless; anechoic.
    a dead floor
  24. (obsolete) Bringing death; deadly.
  25. (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.
  26. (rare, especially religion, often with "to") Indifferent to; having no obligation toward; no longer subject to or ruled by (sin, guilt, pleasure, etc).
    • 1839, William Jenks, The Comprehensive Commentary on the Holy Bible: Acts-Revelation, page 361:
      He was dead to the law. Whatever account others might make of it, yet, for his part, he was dead to it. [] But though he was thus dead to the law, yet he [] was far from thinking himself discharged from his duty to God' on the contrary, he was dead to the law, that he might live unto God.
    • 1849, Robert Haldane, Exposition of the Epistle to the Romans, page 255:
      But he died to the guilt of sin—to the guilt of his people's sins which he had taken upon him; and they, dying with him, as is above declared, die to sin precisely in the same sense in which he died to it. [] He was not justified from it till his resurrection, but from that moment he was dead to it. When he shall appear the second time, it will be "without sin."
  27. (linguistics) Of a syllable in languages such as Thai and Burmese: ending abruptly.
    Antonym: live
    • 2011, Russ Crowley, Learning Thai, Your Great Adventure, page 28:
      [] syllable is dead, the tone will depend on whether the vowel is short or long.

Usage notes

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  • In Middle and Early Modern English, the phrase is dead was more common where the present perfect form has died is common today. Example:
1611, King James Bible
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Gal. 2:21)
  • In common uses, "has died" usually implies that the death of an organism has come from internal problems, whereas "is dead" is more commonly used to indicate external causes. For example, "Our dog has died," would be commonly used to indicate the death of a pet; whereas "The deer is dead," would be more commonly used in the context of hunting for meat.

Synonyms

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Antonyms

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Translations

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Adverb

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dead (not comparable)

  1. (degree, informal, colloquial) Exactly.
    dead right; dead level; dead flat; dead straight; dead left
    He hit the target dead in the centre.
    • 2003 December 1, Brian Long, RX-7 Mazda’s Rotary Engine Sports Car: Updated & Enlarged Edition, Veloce Publishing Ltd, →ISBN, page 145:
      Independent tests later confirmed [the figures] to be accurate, with Car & Driver seeing 159mph (254kph), 0.60 in five seconds dead, and an amazingly high 0.97g.
    • 2023 November 29, Peter Plisner, “The winds of change in Catesby Tunnel”, in RAIL, number 997, page 56:
      And because the tunnel is dead straight, it's perfect for reaching high speeds.
  2. (degree, informal, colloquial) Very, absolutely, extremely.
    dead wrong; dead set; dead serious; dead drunk; dead broke; dead earnest; dead certain; dead slow; dead sure; dead simple; dead honest; dead accurate; dead easy; dead scared; dead solid; dead black; dead white; dead empty
  3. Suddenly and completely.
    He stopped dead.
  4. (informal) As if dead.
    dead tired; dead quiet; dead asleep; dead pale; dead cold; dead still

Translations

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Noun

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dead (uncountable)

  1. (often with "the") Time when coldness, darkness, or stillness is most intense.
    The dead of night. The dead of winter.
  2. (with "the") Those (dead people) who have died.
    Will the dead rise again?

Translations

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Noun

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dead (plural deads)

  1. (UK) (usually in the plural) Sterile mining waste, often present as many large rocks stacked inside the workings.
  2. (bodybuilding, colloquial) Clipping of deadlift.

Verb

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dead (third-person singular simple present deads, present participle deading, simple past and past participle deaded)

  1. (transitive) To prevent by disabling; to stop.
    • 1826, The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Edward Reynolds, Lord Bishop of Norwich, collected by Edward Reynolds, Benedict Riveley, and Alexander Chalmers. pp. 227. London: B. Holdsworth.
      “What a man should do, when finds his natural impotency dead him in spiritual works”
  2. (transitive) To make dead; to deaden; to deprive of life, force, or vigour.
  3. (transitive, UK, US, slang) To kill.
    • 2004, “Guinnesses”, in Mm..Food, performed by MF Doom ft. Angelika & 4-IZE:
      I shoulda deaded it from genesis instead of hittin' the Guinnesses
    • 2006, Leighanne Boyd, Once Upon A Time In The Bricks, page 178:
      This dude at the club was trying to kill us so I deaded him, and then I had to collect from Spice.
    • 2008, Marvlous Harrison, The Coalition, page 106:
      “What, you was just gonna dead him because if that's the case then why the fuck we getting the money?” Sha asked annoyed.
    • 2020 January 6, Courtney A. Kemp, Matt K. Turner, 33:48 from the start, in Power, season 6, episode 11, spoken by Tommy Egan (E Joseph Sikora):
      TOMMY:”Honestly, I’d love to help you with that but I’ve got a surplus of motherfuckers that I need to dead right now.”
  4. (transitive, African-American Vernacular, slang, by extension) To discontinue or put an end to (something).
    • 2005, Black Artemis, Picture Me Rollin', New York, N.Y.: New American Library, →ISBN, page 269:
      "I thought I told you to shut up," said Jesus. "I don't be laying up with chickenheads, so you need to dead that shit before you piss me the fuck off."
    • 2013, Adam Mansbach, Rage Is Back, New York, N.Y.: Viking, →ISBN, page 140:
      "This might be kinda beside the point right now," I said carefully, settling into the chair across from him, "but it's probably time to dead all that open-door no-gun shit, huh?"
    • 2018, U-God [Lamont Hawkins], Raw: My Journey Into The Wu-Tang, New York, N.Y.: Picador, →ISBN, →OCLC, page 118:
      "Shorty, whatchu got in your pocket? Let me see that hat." ¶ "Nah, man. Dead that." Out would come the .32. ¶ "Oh, aight. You got that, shorty, you got that."
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Derived terms

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Terms derived from the adjective, adverb, noun, or verb dead

References

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  • dead”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.

Anagrams

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Chinese

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Etymology

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Pseudo back-formation from English deadline.

Pronunciation

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Verb

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dead

  1. (Hong Kong Cantonese, chiefly university slang) to be due by; to have a deadline of
    功課今晚dead [Hong Kong Cantonese, trad.]
    功课今晚dead [Hong Kong Cantonese, simp.]
    ni1 fan6 gung1 fo3 gam1 maan5-1 det1. [Jyutping]
    This homework is due tonight.

French

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Etymology

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Borrowed from English dead.

Pronunciation

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Verb

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dead

  1. (slang, anglicism) to succeed (in doing something well, "killing it")
    • 2018, “Djadja”, in Djadja, performed by Aya Nakamura:
      J’suis pas ta catin Djadja, genre en catchana baby tu dead ça.
      I ain't your bitch Djadja, as if you kill it doing doggystyle, baby.

Usage notes

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The verb is left unconjugated: il dead, il a dead. Usage is limited to the present, as well as an infinitive or a past participle.

Old English

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Alternative forms

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Etymology

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From Proto-West Germanic *daud, from Proto-Germanic *daudaz. Cognate with Old Frisian dād, Old Saxon dōd, Old High German tōt, Old Norse dauðr, Gothic 𐌳𐌰𐌿𐌸𐍃 (dauþs).

Pronunciation

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Adjective

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dēad

  1. dead
    • late 9th century, translation of Orosius’ History Against the Pagans
      Phillippus him dyde heora wīġ unweorð, ōð hyne ān Cwēne scēat þurh þæt þēoh, þæt þæt hors wæs dēad, þe hē on ufan sæt.
      Phillippus did them their battle ignoble, until a queen shot him through the thigh, that the horse was dead, which he sat on at the top.

Declension

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Derived terms

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Descendants

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  • Middle English: ded, deed

See also

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Old Irish

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Alternative forms

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Etymology

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From Proto-Celtic *dīwedom, verbal noun of *dīwedeti (to stop) (whence Welsh diwedd (end, ending)).

Pronunciation

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Noun

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dead n (genitive deïd, no plural)

  1. end

Declension

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Neuter o-stem
Singular Dual Plural
Nominative deadN
Vocative deadN
Accusative deadN
Genitive deïdL
Dative dïudL, deüd
Initial mutations of a following adjective:
  • H = triggers aspiration
  • L = triggers lenition
  • N = triggers nasalization

Derived terms

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Descendants

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Mutation

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Old Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Nasalization
dead dead
pronounced with /ð(ʲ)-/
ndead
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Further reading

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Volapük

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Etymology

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Borrowed from English dead or death (with the "th" changed to "d").

Pronunciation

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Noun

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dead (nominative plural deads)

  1. death, state of being dead, state of death

Declension

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Derived terms

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