AskDefine | Define kill

Dictionary Definition



1 the act of terminating a life [syn: killing, putting to death]
2 the destruction of an enemy plane or ship or tank or missile; "the pilot reported two kills during the mission"


1 cause to die; put to death, usually intentionally or knowingly; "This man killed several people when he tried to rob a bank"; "The farmer killed a pig for the holidays"
2 thwart the passage of; "kill a motion"; "he shot down the student's proposal" [syn: shoot down, defeat, vote down, vote out]
3 cause the death of, without intention; "She was killed in the collision of three cars"
4 end or extinguish by forceful means; "Stamp out poverty!" [syn: stamp out]
5 be fatal; "cigarettes kill"; "drunken driving kills"
6 be the source of great pain for; "These new shoes are killing me!"
7 overwhelm with hilarity, pleasure, or admiration; "The comedian was so funny, he was killing me!"
8 hit with so much force as to make a return impossible, in racket games; "She killed the ball"
9 hit with great force; "He killed the ball"
10 deprive of life; "AIDS has killed thousands in Africa"
11 drink down entirely; "He downed three martinis before dinner"; "She killed a bottle of brandy that night"; "They popped a few beer after work" [syn: toss off, pop, bolt down, belt down, pour down, down, drink down]
12 mark for deletion, rub off, or erase; "kill these lines in the President's speech" [syn: obliterate, wipe out]
13 tire out completely; "The daily stress of her work is killing her"
14 cause to cease operating; "kill the engine"
15 destroy a vitally essential quality of or in; "Eating artichokes kills the taste of all other foods"

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /kɪl/
  • Rhymes with: -ɪl

Etymology 1

Origin uncertain: probably from a variant of Old English cwellan. (See quell)


  1. The act of killing.
    The assassin liked to make a clean kill, and thus favored small arms over explosives.
  2. Specifically, the death blow.
    The hunter delivered the kill with a pistol shot to the head.
  3. The result of killing; that which has been killed.
    The fox dragged its kill back to its den.
act of killing
death blow
result of killing


  1. To put to death; to extinguish life.
    Smoking kills more people each year than alcohol and drugs combined.
    There is conclusive evidence that smoking kills.
  2. To render inoperative.
    He killed the engine and turned off the headlights, but remained in the car, waiting.
  3. To stop, cease, or render void.
    The editor decided to kill the story.
    The news that a hurricane had destroyed our beach house killed our plans to sell it.
  4. In the context of "transitive|figurative": To amaze, exceed, stun, or otherwise incapacitate.
    That night, she was dressed to kill.
    That joke always kills me.
  5. To tell off severely.
    My boss will kill me if I'm late.
    When she finally got home her dad just about killed her.
  6. To use up or to waste.
    I'm just doing this to kill time.
    Between the two of us, we killed the rest of the case of beer.
  7. In the context of "transitive|figurative": To overpower or overwhelm.
    The team had absolutely killed their traditional rivals, and the local sports bars were raucous with celebrations.''
  8. To force a company out of business.
put to death
render void

Related terms

Etymology 2

From Middle Dutch kille via kil


  1. A creek; a body of water.
body of water

Extensive Definition

To kill, killing or to have killed means to cause the death of a living organism.
The act of killing an animal, plant, or other life form can be said to have occurred when an outside force, usually another life form, has done something to cause it to die. This may be a result of several actions:
kill in German: Tötung
kill in Classical Chinese: 殺
kill in Korean: 살해
kill in Japanese: 殺害
kill in Simple English: Kill

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

KO, abbreviate, abridge, absorb, adolescent stream, amuse, annihilate, arroyo, asphyxiate, assassinate, bane, beasts of venery, beck, beguile, bereave of life, big game, black out, blood, bloodletting, bloodshed, blot out, blue-pencil, bottle up, bourn, bowdlerize, braided stream, braining, branch, brook, brooklet, bump off, burn, butcher, call off, cancel, carry away, carry off, censor, channel, chloroform, choke, choke off, clamp down on, close, complete, conclusion, constitute, consume, convulse, cork, cork up, coup de grace, crack down on, creek, crick, cross out, crush, cut, cut down, cut off, cut short, damp, damp down, deaden, dealing death, death, deathblow, decimate, decree, defeat, delete, delight, denouement, deprive of life, destroy, destruction, destruction of life, devastate, dispatch, dispose of, divert, do away with, do for, do in, do to death, down, drop the curtain, drown, dull, edit, edit out, eliminate, enact, enact laws, end, end off, enliven, entertain, eradicate, erase, euthanasia, execute, execution, exhaust, exhilarate, expunge, expurgate, exterminate, extermination, extinguish, fag out, fatigue, filibuster, fill, finalize, finish, finish off, flow of blood, flowing stream, fluviation, fold up, fracture one, fresh, freshet, gag, game, get it over, get over with, get rid of, get the floor, get through with, gill, give the quietus, gore, have the floor, hit, hold down, hugger-mugger, hurt, hush, hush up, hush-hush, ice, idle, immolate, immolation, jump on, kayo, keep down, keep under, kibosh, killing, knife, knock dead, knock off, knock out, lapidation, launch into eternity, lay low, lazy stream, legislate, liquidate, lobby through, logroll, loosen up, lynch, make away with, martyr, martyrdom, martyrization, martyrize, massacre, meandering stream, mercy killing, midchannel, midstream, millstream, moving road, muffle, murder, muzzle, navigable river, negative, neutralize, nip, nullify, obliterate, occupy, omit, ordain, pain, pass, perfect, pigeonhole, pocket, poison, poisoning, polish off, pour water on, prey, purge, put away, put down, put in force, put paid to, put through, put to death, put to sleep, quarry, quash, quell, quench, race, racing stream, railroad through, raise a laugh, raise a smile, ravage, recreate, refresh, regale, relax, remove from life, repress, rescind, ritual killing, ritual murder, river, rivulet, roll logs, rub out, ruin, rule against, run, rundle, runlet, runnel, sacrifice, scrag, shoot, shoot down, shooting, shush, shut, shut down, shut down on, shut off, sike, silence, sit down on, sit on, slaughter, slay, slaying, smash, smother, snuff out, solace, spend, spill stream, squash, squelch, stanch, starve, stifle, still, stoning, strangle, stream, stream action, streamlet, strike, strike off, strike out, stultify, subdue, subterranean river, suffocate, suppress, switch off, table, take life, take off, take the floor, taking of life, termination, the hunted, throttle, tickle, tire out, titillate, to, torment, torture, turn off, use up, venery, veto, victim, void, wadi, waste, watercourse, waterway, weary, while away, wipe out, wow, yield the floor, zap
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