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dead Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun people who are no longer living
    • they buried the dead
  2. noun a time when coldness (or some other quality associated with death) is intense
    • the dead of winter
  3. adjective no longer having or seeming to have or expecting to have life
    • the nerve is dead
    • a dead pallor
    • he was marked as a dead man by the assassin
  4. adjective not showing characteristics of life especially the capacity to sustain life; no longer exerting force or having energy or heat
    • Mars is a dead planet
    • dead soil
    • dead coals
    • the fire is dead
  5. adjective satellite very tired
    beat; bushed; all in.
    • was all in at the end of the day
    • so beat I could flop down and go to sleep anywhere
    • bushed after all that exercise
    • I'm dead after that long trip
  6. adjective satellite unerringly accurate
    • a dead shot
    • took dead aim
  7. adjective satellite physically inactive
    • Crater Lake is in the crater of a dead volcano of the Cascade Range
  8. adjective satellite (followed by `to') not showing human feeling or sensitivity; unresponsive
    • passersby were dead to our plea for help
    • numb to the cries for mercy
  9. adjective satellite devoid of physical sensation; numb
    • his gums were dead from the novocain
    • she felt no discomfort as the dentist drilled her deadened tooth
    • a public desensitized by continuous television coverage of atrocities
  10. adjective satellite lacking acoustic resonance
    • dead sounds characteristic of some compact discs
    • the dead wall surfaces of a recording studio
  11. adjective satellite not yielding a return
    • dead capital
    • idle funds
  12. adjective satellite not circulating or flowing
    • dead air
    • dead water
    • stagnant water
  13. adjective satellite not surviving in active use
    • Latin is a dead language
  14. adjective satellite lacking resilience or bounce
    • a dead tennis ball
  15. adjective satellite out of use or operation because of a fault or breakdown
    • a dead telephone line
    • the motor is dead
  16. adjective satellite no longer having force or relevance
    • a dead issue
  17. adjective satellite complete
    • came to a dead stop
    • utter seriousness
  18. adjective satellite drained of electric charge; discharged
    • a dead battery
    • left the lights on and came back to find the battery drained
  19. adjective satellite devoid of activity; nothing ever happens here"
    • this is a dead town
  20. adverb quickly and without warning
    suddenly; short; abruptly.
    • he stopped suddenly
  21. adverb completely and without qualification; used informally as intensifiers
    absolutely; perfectly; utterly.
    • an absolutely magnificent painting
    • a perfectly idiotic idea
    • you're perfectly right
    • utterly miserable
    • you can be dead sure of my innocence
    • was dead tired
    • dead right

Dead adjective
OE. ded, dead, deed, AS. deád; akin to OS. dd, D. dood, G. todt, tot, Icel. daur, Sw. & Dan. död, Goth. daubs; prop. p. p. of an old verb meaning to die. See Die, and cf. Death.
  1. Deprived of life; -- opposed to alive and living; reduced to that state of a being in which the organs of motion and life have irrevocably ceased to perform their functions; as, a dead tree; a dead man. "The queen, my lord, is dead." Shak.
    The crew, all except himself, were dead of hunger. Arbuthnot.
    Seek him with candle, bring him dead or living. Shak.
  2. Destitute of life; inanimate; as, dead matter.
  3. Resembling death in appearance or quality; without show of life; deathlike; as, a dead sleep.
  4. Still as death; motionless; inactive; useless; as, dead calm; a dead load or weight.
  5. So constructed as not to transmit sound; soundless; as, a dead floor.
  6. Unproductive; bringing no gain; unprofitable; as, dead capital; dead stock in trade.
  7. Lacking spirit; dull; lusterless; cheerless; as, dead eye; dead fire; dead color, etc.
  8. Monotonous or unvaried; as, a dead level or pain; a dead wall. "The ground is a dead flat." C. Reade.
  9. Sure as death; unerring; fixed; complete; as, a dead shot; a dead certainty.
    I had them a dead bargain. Goldsmith.
  10. Bringing death; deadly. Shak.
  11. Wanting in religious spirit and vitality; as, dead faith; dead works. "Dead in trespasses." Eph. ii. 1.
  12. (Paint.) (a) Flat; without gloss; -- said of painting which has been applied purposely to have this effect. (b) Not brilliant; not rich; thus, brown is a dead color, as compared with crimson.
  13. (Law) Cut off from the rights of a citizen; deprived of the power of enjoying the rights of property; as, one banished or becoming a monk is civilly dead.
  14. (Mach.) Not imparting motion or power; as, the dead spindle of a lathe, etc. See Spindle.
    I deme thee, thou must algate be dead. Chaucer.
    Syn. -- Inanimate; deceased; extinct. See Lifeless.
Dead adverb
  1. To a degree resembling death; to the last degree; completely; wholly. Colloq.
    I was tired of reading, and dead sleepy. Dickens.
Dead noun
  1. The most quiet or deathlike time; the period of profoundest repose, inertness, or gloom; as, the dead of winter.
    When the drum beat at dead of night. Campbell.
  2. One who is dead; -- commonly used collectively.
    And Abraham stood up from before his dead. Gen. xxiii. 3.
Dead transitive verb
  1. To make dead; to deaden; to deprive of life, force, or vigor. Obs.
    Heaven's stern decree, With many an ill, hath numbed and deaded me. Chapman.
Dead intransitive verb
  1. To die; to lose life or force. Obs.
    So iron, as soon as it is out of the fire, deadeth straightway. Bacon.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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