Language: Old English


1 adjective
dead1 S1 W1 [no comparative]

not alive

a dead body be shot dead be found dead be feared/presumed dead drop dead (=die suddenly) clinically dead (=dead based on medical checks) dead on arrival (=dead when arriving at a hospital) pronounce somebody dead (=a doctor says that someone is dead after checking their body) leave somebody for dead (=leave someone because you think they are dead) stone dead/dead as a doornail informal (=dead, with no signs of life) more dead than alive (=very badly hurt or ill and almost dead) long dead/dead and gone (=dead for a long time)
Her mother had been dead for ten years.
Police are trying to contact the family of the dead man.
a pile of dead leaves
the dead body of a young soldier
Two men were shot dead by terrorists.
Magnus was found dead in his car.
One man is still missing, presumed dead.
He suddenly had a heart attack and dropped dead.
She was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
His fellow climbers had left him for dead on the mountain.
We didn't know if she was dead or alive.
When they found him he was more dead than alive.
Her parents were long dead.
! Do not confuse dead, which is an adjective, with died, which is the past tense and past participle of the verb die: The man was already dead (NOT The man was already died).

not working

[not before noun]TCT not working because there is no power:
I picked up the phone but discovered the line was dead.
Suddenly the radio went dead.
I think the batteries are dead.

already used

already used:
a small pile of dead matches
dead glass/bottle (=one that someone has finished drinking from in a bar or restaurant)


[not before noun] a place that is dead is boring because there is nothing interesting or exciting happening there:
This place is dead after nine o'clock.

not active/used

not active or being used:
The luxury car market has been dead in recent months.

arm/leg etc

[not before noun] a part of your body that is dead has no feeling in it, especially because the blood supply to it has been stopped:
When I got up my foot had gone dead where I'd been sitting on it.

no emotion

[not before noun] showing no emotion or sympathy:
Jennie's eyes were cold and dead.


[not before noun] spoken very tired:
I can't go out tonight. I'm absolutely dead!
She was dead on her feet and didn't have the energy to argue (=used when someone keeps going even though they are very tired).

be dead to the world

to be very deeply asleep or unconscious:
Better leave Craig - he's dead to the world.

used for emphasis

[only before noun] completely or exactly - used to emphasize what you are saying:
We all sat waiting in dead silence (=complete silence).
The train came to a dead stop (=it stopped completely).
The arrow hit the dead centre of the target (=the exact centre).
I've given the whole thing up as a dead loss (=completely useless or a complete failure).
John tells me it's a dead cert, we can't lose (=something which will certainly happen, win, succeed etc).
He fell to the floor in a dead faint (=completely unconscious).

over my dead body

spoken used to say that you are determined not to allow something to happen:
You'll marry him over my dead body!

I wouldn't be seen/caught dead

spoken used to say that you would never wear particular clothes, go to particular places, or do particular things, because you would feel embarrassed
I wouldn't be seen/caught dead in/on/with etc
I wouldn't be seen dead in a dress like that!

in serious trouble

spoken in serious trouble
if ... I'm dead/you're dead etc
If Mum finds out about this, I'm dead.
You're in dead trouble now (=in very serious trouble)!
One word of this to Sam and you're dead meat (=you are in serious trouble and someone is very angry with you)!

be dead and buried

an argument, problem, plan etc that is dead and buried is not worth considering again:
The old argument about whether the UK should be a member of the EU should now be dead and buried.

be dead in the water

informal if a plan or idea is dead in the water, it is unlikely to continue successfully

drop dead!

spoken used to rudely and angrily tell someone to go away and leave you alone

dead language

a dead language, for example Latin or Ancient Greek, is no longer used by ordinary people

➔ living language

at living1 (1)

the dead hand of something

something which stops or slows your progress, especially a strong influence:
the dead hand of local government bureaucracy


HA a dead planet has no life on it

in sport

DS when the ball is dead in some games, it is no longer on the playing area

➔ (as) dead as a dodo

at dodo (3)
dead ringer
deadness noun [uncountable]

Dictionary results for "dead"
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