Meaning of LETHAL in English


I. ˈlēthəl adjective

Etymology: Latin lethalis, letalis, from letum death + -alis -al; probably akin to Latin lenis soft, mild — more at let

1. archaic : of or leading to spiritual death

discoursing of sinners and their lethal end — Charles Reade


a. : of, relating to, or causing death

the two convicted men will soon enter the lethal chamber — William Mayer

in mice the mean lethal dose was more than twice as large as the mean paralyzing dose — Science

the lethal fire that destroyed the building and all its occupants

b. : capable of causing death : deadly

wished I had a gun or some lethal weapon, that I might destroy him — Bram Stoker

prohibits the transportation in interstate … commerce of lethal munitions — U.S. Code

the increasing quantity of lethal carbon monoxide poured into the air by the internal-combustion motor — Lewis Mumford

gathering edible mushrooms … is a pleasant but potentially lethal pastime — Pfizer Spectrum

3. : causing damage or destruction : devastating

showed a lethal skill in his dissection of the … book — Times Literary Supplement

a lethal attack by the opposition caused him to resign

used the lethal veto ten times to block action in the security council — Time

Synonyms: see deadly

II. noun

( -s )

1. : a lethal substance


a. : an abnormality of genetic origin causing the death of the organism possessing it usually before maturity

b. : lethal gene

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