death +‎ -ling


deathling (plural deathlings)

  1. A mortal; one who will die.
    • 1872, Philip James Bailey, Festus: A Poem, page 281:
      God gives and takes away your breath: What more have ye? Breath is your life, and life your soul; Ye have it warm from His kind hands: Then yield it back to the great Whole When He demands. Why, deathling, wilt thou long for Heaven?
    • 1892, Agnes Mary Clerke, Familiar Studies in Homer, page 142:
      But for us, let us hearken the counsel of Zeus most high, and obey, Who over the deathling race and the deathless beareth sway.
    • 1934, Algernon Sydney Logan, The Mirror of a Mind: The image of air, Saul, The last crusade, page 150:
      Vain, helpless deathling! thou that seek'st for fame By hurling filth at an eternal name.
    • 1972, Wystan Hugh Auden, Epistle to a Godson, and Other Poems, page 32:
      Unto whom the Seducer, not our romantic Satan but a clever cartesian Archon, coaxingly thus: Not doing very well, are you, poor deathling, no, and unlikely to do any better, thanks to the schemes of We-Know-Whom,
    • 1993, ‎Naomi Cornelia Long Madgett, Remembrances of Spring: Collected Early Poems, page 88:
      I am a deathling doomed to hell.
  2. A supernatural being associated with death, especially a child of death.
    • 1860, Jonathan Swift, The Works of Jonathan Swift, page 442:
      The interest of his realm had need That death should get a numerous breed; Young deathlings, who by practice made Proficient in their father's trade
    • 1980, Poul Anderson, Conan the Rebel, page 167:
      Meanwhile most of the deathling troop had rustled past them and fallen on the Taians.
    • 2009, T. Salenger, The First Rider, page 111:
      Deathlings or even wraiths weren't the deadliest weapons.
  3. (rare) A dead child.
    • 1986, San José Studies - Volumes 12-13, page 37:
      In my mind's eye I gather the resident who did the tracheotomy, his patient with her collapsible veins, the nurse who said " Good," and, of course, the deathling in the bed.
    • 1994, William Everson, ‎Albert Gelpi, The Blood of the Poet: Selected Poems, page 126:
      The old mother grieves her deathling.
    • 2004, C. B. Follett, ‎Susan Terris, Runes: A Review Of Poetry Storm, page 97:
      you are all I had in this world beloved deathling alone and cold it is behind my ribs