Open main menu

Wiktionary β

See also: déad



Wikipedia has articles on:


From Middle English ded, deed, from Old English dēad, from Proto-Germanic *daudaz. Compare West Frisian dead, dea, Dutch dood, German tot, Danish, Norwegian død, Norwegian Nynorsk daud.



dead (comparative deader, superlative deadest)

A dead pigeon
  1. (not comparable) No longer living.
    All of my grandparents are dead.
  2. (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.
  3. (of another person) So hated that they are absolutely ignored.
    He is dead to me.
    I will think of you as dead, until my husband makes you that way. Then I will think of you no longer. - Mary, Rob Roy
  4. Without emotion.
    She stood with dead face and limp arms, unresponsive to my plea.
  5. Stationary; static.
    the dead load on the floor
    a dead lift
  6. Without interest to one of the senses; dull; flat.
    dead air
    a dead glass of soda.
  7. Unproductive.
    dead time
    dead fields
  8. (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.
  9. (not comparable) Broken or inoperable.
    That monitor is dead; don’t bother hooking it up.
  10. (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?
  11. (engineering) Not imparting motion or power.
    the dead spindle of a lathe
  12. (not comparable, sports) Not in play.
    Once the ball crosses the foul line, it's dead.
  13. (not comparable, golf, of a golf ball) Lying so near the hole that the player is certain to hole it in the next stroke.
  14. (not comparable, baseball, slang, 1800s) Tagged out.
  15. (not comparable) Full and complete.
    dead stop
    dead sleep
    dead giveaway
    dead silence
  16. (not comparable) Exact.
    dead center
    dead aim
    a dead eye
    a dead level
  17. Experiencing pins and needles (paresthesia).
    After sitting on my hands for a while, my arms became dead.
  18. (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!"
  19. Constructed so as not to transmit sound; soundless.
    a dead floor
  20. (obsolete) Bringing death; deadly.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
  21. (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.
Usage notesEdit
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)





dead (not comparable)

  1. (degree) Exactly right.
    dead right; dead level; dead flat; dead straight; dead left
    He hit the target dead in the centre.
  2. (degree) Very, absolutely, extremely, suddenly.
    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. As if dead.
    dead tired; dead quiet; dead asleep; dead pale; dead cold; dead still




  1. (uncountable, singular only, often with "the") Time when coldness, darkness, or stillness is most intense.
    The dead of night. The dead of winter.
  2. (plural, with "the") Those who have died.
    Have respect for the dead.



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


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

  1. (transitive) To prevent by disabling; 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.
    • Chapman
      Heaven's stern decree, / With many an ill, hath numbed and deaded me.
  3. (Britain, transitive, slang) To kill.
    • 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.

Related termsEdit

Derived termsEdit


Most common English words before 1923 in Project Gutenberg: boy · c. · strong · #398: dead · bring · returned · seems


Old EnglishEdit


From Proto-Germanic *daudaz, from Proto-Indo-European *dʰautós, originally a past participle. Cognate with Old Frisian dād (West Frisian dead), Old Saxon dōd, Dutch dood, Old High German tōt (German tot), Old Norse dauðr (Swedish död), Gothic 𐌳𐌰𐌿𐌸𐍃 (dauþs).




  1. dead


Weak Strong
case singular plural case singular plural
m n f m n f m n f
nominative dēada dēade dēade dēadan nom. dēad dēade dēad dēada, -e
accusative dēadan dēade dēadan acc. dēadne dēad dēade dēade dēad dēada, -e
genitive dēadan dēadra, dēadena gen. dēades dēades dēadre dēadra
dative dēadan dēadum dat. dēadum dēadum dēadre dēadum
instrumental dēade

Related termsEdit

See alsoEdit