Meaning of DEAD in English

I. ˈded adjective

( sometimes -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English deed, from Old English dēad; akin to Old High German tōt dead, Old Norse dauthr, Gothic dauths; derivative from the root of Old Norse deyja to die — more at die

1. : deprived of life : having ended existence as a living or growing thing — used of organisms or any of their parts or organs

a dead wasp

a dead rabbit

dead leaves

dead of scarlet fever

dead by his own hand



(1) : having the appearance of death or of being dead : deathly

in a dead faint

: insensible

dead to the world

(2) : without power to move, feel, or respond : numb

my arm feels dead

b. : completely exhausted : very tired

after two hours of hiking they were just dead


(1) : incapable of feeling or of being stirred emotionally or intellectually : impervious especially to pleas or arguments : unresponsive

a girl with a heart dead to pity

completely dead and deaf to his father's advice

: lacking sensitivity or delicacy of feeling

dead to all sense of honor

(2) of a sentiment : grown cold : extinguished

a dead passion

a dead love


a. : not naturally endowed with life : inanimate , inert

dead matter

b. : not producing or sustaining life : barren , infertile

dead soil

a dead rocky waste

c. : no longer producing or functioning : exhausted, worked-out

a dead oil well

a dead mine

a dead battery


a. : lacking power or effect

a dead law

: no longer of concern : no longer having interest, relevance, or significance

a dead issue


(1) : lacking currency : defunct , obsolete

a dead custom

(2) of a language : no longer in ordinary spoken use

c. : no longer active : extinct

a dead volcano

d. : lacking in fervor or warmth

a dead description

: lacking in gaiety, animation, or amusing quality

a very dead party


(1) : lacking in commercial activity : quiet

a dead produce market

(2) : commercially idle or unproductive

dead capital

: lacking in salability : being unsold

dead stock

f. : lacking responsiveness or elasticity

a dead tennis ball

a dead string on a viol

g. : out of action or out of use

a dead electric circuit

a dead telephone line

dead storage


(1) of a ball : out of play

in football the ball is dead after an incompleted forward pass

(2) of a player : temporarily forbidden to play or make a certain play

a croquet player may be dead on another player's ball

i. printing

(1) : being something that has been used or is not to be used

dead copy

dead type

dead artwork

(2) : being something that is routed or to be routed off as not meant to print

dead -metal areas in engravings and electrotypes

j. : out of play : not usable

a hand that is not eligible to win is dead

k. : having a density greater than water — used of oils distilled from tar

l. : having lost the qualities required for workability

dead plaster will not set hard when mixed with water

dead stone, yielding a dull thud when struck with the sculptor's hammer


a. : not running or circulating : stagnant

dead water

dead air

b. : not turning

the dead center of a lathe

cut between a dead knife blade and a turning one

c. of mail : undeliverable and unreturnable — see dead letter


a. : having no fire, warmth, or glow

a dead cigar

a dead fire

b. : lacking brilliance or luster : dull

a dead glossy finish

c. : lacking tang or taste

a dead wine

d. : muffled , deadened

a dead sound

7. : having a quality of completeness or finality



(1) : unrelieved by any breaks or deviations : absolutely uniform — often used in the phrase dead level

the dead level of a prairie

reducing all to a dead level of mediocrity

(2) : characterized by the utmost exertion of effort, physical or mental

a dead pull


(1) : completely certain as to outcome : inescapable , unerring

a dead shot with a rifle

: exact

hit the dead center of the target

(2) : as good as dead : doomed

a dead pigeon

(3) : irrevocable , unrecoverable

a dead loss

c. : marked by complete and sudden cessation (as of motion or action) : abrupt

brought to a dead stop

stopped him dead in his tracks

d. : complete , total , absolute

a dead silence fell

spoke with dead certainty of his return

9. : being abandoned by its former human occupants : deserted

a dead mining town

dead villages

10. : characterized by high absorption of sound : anechoic

a dead wall

11. : free from any connection to a source of voltage and free from electric charges : having the same potential as that of the ground — used of current-carrying apparatus or circuits that may at other times be alive


a. : lacking motion

the dead spindle of a lathe

b. : not imparting motion or power although otherwise functioning

the dead rear axle of a floating transmission

c. : having the principal function in abeyance

the dead time between power strokes

d. : marked by a delay in operation or by inactivity between operations or actions — used in referring to a mechanical or electronic device

dead time of a counter

II. noun

( plural dead )

Etymology: Middle English deed

1. : one that is dead — now usually used collectively

the dead and the living

2. : the time of greatest quiet : the period of profoundest inertness or gloom

the dead of winter

when the drum beat at dead of night — Thomas Campbell

3. : something dead: as

a. dead plural : refuse from a mine

b. slang : an article of dead mail

III. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English deden, from Old English dēadian to die, from dēad, adjective

intransitive verb

obsolete : die

transitive verb

chiefly dialect : deaden

IV. adverb

Etymology: dead (I)


a. : to a degree or in a manner resembling or characteristic of death : to the last degree : absolutely , utterly , entirely , exactly

dead ripe

dead -tired

dead certain

b. dialect Britain : extremely , very

it seems to me dead strange — C.J.Dennis

2. : with suddenness and completeness

he stopped dead

3. : directly

the police were dead against the plan

a dead -square opening

V. ˈded, -ē-, -ā- noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English dede, deed, probably alteration (influenced by deed, adjective) of deeth — more at death

dialect Britain : death

VI. adjective

- dead in the water

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.