Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

kill - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb     kill pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlekilling
past tensekilled
past participlekilled
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to make a person or other living thing die

    Each year thousands of people are killed and injured on the roads.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to stop something from continuing

    The group effectively killed speculation that a merger was about to take place.

    1. a.
      to stop pain

      The nurse will give you something to kill the pain.

  3. 3
    [transitive] [always progressive] informal if part of your body is killing you, it is causing you a lot of pain

    My feet are killing me.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to make you feel very tired

      Those stairs kill me every time!

  4. 4
    [transitive] to spend time doing a particular activity while you are waiting for something
    kill time:

    Shopping can be a good way to kill time at the airport.

phrasal verbs

See also
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Open Dictionary

snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play