dead - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    no longer alive

    The police don’t know whether she’s alive or dead.

    He is grieving for his dead father.

    I raked up the dead leaves.

    a dead body:

    Rescue workers are still pulling dead bodies out of the rubble.

    leave someone dead:

    The shootings left 14 people dead.

    leave someone for dead (=leave them to die):

    He was beaten and left for dead by a gang of teenagers.

    be feared/presumed dead:

    Three people are still missing, presumed dead.

    clinically dead (=according to medical standards):

    Doctors pronounced him clinically dead two days later.

    more dead than alive (=very ill, weak, or badly injured):

    They staggered down the mountain, more dead than alive.

    dead and gone:

    All of that generation are now dead and gone.

    long dead (=dead for a long time):

    By the time I had my children, Grandma was long dead.

     Synonyms and related words
    1. a.

      the dead

      people who are dead
      the dead and injured:

      Fifteen of her relatives were among the dead and injured.

      the dead and dying:

      The bridge was soon blocked with the dead and dying.

      bury the/your dead:

      The people of the town now want to be left alone to bury their dead.

  2. 3
    a place, time, or situation that is dead is not very interesting because very little happens in it

    The street seems dead without all the bustle of the children.

    Winter is traditionally a dead time of year in the fashion business.

    be far from dead:

    Eleven minutes of this game remaining, and it’s far from dead!

  3. 4
    no longer considered useful, relevant, or likely to be successful

    The idea of self-government for the area is now effectively dead.

    Feminism is not dead.

    be dead and buried (=have failed completely):

    A government spokesman acknowledged that the peace process is dead and buried.

  4. 5



    half dead

    [never before noun] informal very tired, weak, or ill

    You kids seem half dead!

    dead on your feet (=very tired but still standing):

    By the time we had finished we were all dead on our feet.

  5. 6
    if a part of your body is dead, you cannot feel it or move it normally
    go dead:

    My legs had gone completely dead.

  6. 7
    if someone’s eyes are dead, or if their voice is dead, they feel or show no emotion

    She turned to him with her strange dead eyes.

  7. 8
    [usually before noun] a dead language such as Latin is no longer used by people in their ordinary lives
  8. 9
    [only before noun] complete
    dead silence:

    She finished speaking, and there was dead silence in the room.

    dead centre:

    The bullet hit the target dead centre (=exactly in the centre).

    a dead stop:

    The truck suddenly came to a dead stop.

    in a dead faint (=completely unconscious):

    She fell forward and hit the floor in a dead faint.

  9. 11
    a ball is dead in some games if it is outside the area on which the game is played, so that the game stops for a short time
  10. 12
    British informal a dead glass or bottle is one that you have finished drinking from
    1. a.
  11. 13
    [never before noun] informal in serious trouble

    If Louise catches you going through her purse, you’re dead!

  12.   From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    dead from the neck up very foolish or stupid

    Sometimes my friend is dead from the neck up.

    Submitted by Caleb Judy from United States on 25/03/2016
See also