EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Latin lētālis (mortal, deadly), improperly written lēthālis, from lētum (death), improperly written as lēthum, as associated with Ancient Greek λήθη (lḗthē, forgetfulness).

AdjectiveEdit

lethal (comparative more lethal, superlative most lethal)

  1. Deadly; mortal; fatal.
    • 2013 July 20, “Old soldiers?”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Whether modern, industrial man is less or more warlike than his hunter-gatherer ancestors is impossible to determine. The machine gun is so much more lethal than the bow and arrow that comparisons are meaningless.
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NounEdit

lethal (plural lethals)

  1. Any weapon that causes death.
    Antonym: non-lethal
  2. (genetics) An allele that causes the death of the organism that carries it.

Etymology 2Edit

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

NounEdit

lethal (uncountable)

  1. (chemistry) One of the higher alcohols of the paraffine series obtained from spermaceti as a white crystalline solid.
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