Definition of deadly in English:

deadly

adjective

  • 1Causing or able to cause death.

    ‘a deadly weapon’
    ‘a series of deadly attacks’
    • ‘Now the fire itself wasn't very deadly, it was the smoke.’
    • ‘The 2003 death toll from the deadly virus was only one.’
    • ‘Agent Orange contained dioxins, which are some of the most deadly poisons known.’
    • ‘British leaders say the mistaken shooting last Friday was a tragedy, but they insist police must be able to use deadly force to protect the public.’
    • ‘They help to prevent more deadly diseases from affecting your pet.’
    • ‘The gas was refined and is less toxic but still toxic enough to be deadly to humans over time.’
    • ‘The aftershock is equally deadly for those who live in the vicinity.’
    • ‘It feels as if only the ultimate extinction of the human race will able to stop that deadly spiral.’
    • ‘New intelligence indicates explosives set off to the side of the road are proving very deadly.’
    • ‘He faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon.’
    • ‘Big SUVs and little kids, a dangerous and sometimes deadly combination in the family driveway.’
    • ‘But in the latest two-week period, seven chickens tested positive for the potentially deadly virus.’
    • ‘In Doomsday Book the twenty-first century is stricken by yet another pandemic, almost as deadly as the Black Death was in the fourteenth.’
    • ‘Greed is their most deadly sin, because none of them can escape it.’
    • ‘Asthma is at best an annoying condition, and at worst a debilitating, even deadly disease.’
    • ‘Scientists hope new research could result in a vaccine for the potentially deadly meningitis B virus.’
    • ‘Tobacco is ' one of the most deadly poisons'.’
    • ‘It is also important to remember that every driver on the highway is armed with a weapon more deadly and dangerous than any firearm: a motor vehicle.’
    • ‘The director of Amnesty International UK has appealed to the people of west Wiltshire to support the charity's campaign against the worldwide trade in deadly weapons.’
    • ‘And in doing so there's a distinct possibility that deadly force will have to be used.’
    fatal, lethal, mortal, death-dealing, life-threatening
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Filled with hatred or intense rivalry.
      ‘we are deadly enemies’
      ‘his voice was cold and deadly’
      • ‘His voice was deadly and calm as he walked toward them.’
      • ‘Their hate campaign is paying deadly dividends.’
      • ‘Whipping around her skirt, it pulled her auburn hair away from her face, somehow making her look beautiful and deadly all in one moment.’
      • ‘An unearthly calm seemed to come over him then, and there was a feeling of deadly malice, of hate and violence radiating from him that made her flinch from his stare.’
      • ‘Her tone was flat and deadly, her fingers curled stiffly into something like claws.’
      • ‘They are murderous, they are frustrated and they are deadly.’
      • ‘Grant projects a steady threat of violence, as though he could go over the edge from debonair to deadly at any moment.’
      • ‘"You killed her, " Amy said her voice deadly and unforgiving.’
      • ‘Barth said without thinking, looking wretchedly into the beautiful deadly face, hating her for smiling, and not being the empress.’
      • ‘His eyes filled with cold, deadly venom, and a short snarl escaped his lips.’
      • ‘The nation is at war against deadly enemies.’
      • ‘The greatest tragedy of the overseas democratic movement is that your ‘own people’ are often your most deadly enemy.’
      • ‘The two men, who were once close allies but are now deadly enemies, are sharing the same hotel in Seoul.’
      • ‘Tommy glanced at her face in complete shock and finally received an expression, a deadly one.’
      • ‘Voice hated Azrael with a deadly passion.’
      • ‘Some were related; some were colleagues and friends; others were deadly enemies.’
    2. 1.2Extremely accurate, effective, or skilful.
      ‘his aim is deadly’
      • ‘A flat free-kick of typically deadly pace from David Beckham brushed the head of the Paraguay captain Carlos Gamarra and continued on its path to the net.’
      • ‘Tyger threw the ball with deadly accuracy right at the monster's chest.’
      • ‘You rely on body armor, luck, and your deadly accuracy to survive.’
      • ‘There's something scary about a spare ball that can look this good and be so deadly.’
      • ‘And because I came from a single-income family, I was eligible for a student allowance, even with the deadly radar of means-testing.’
      • ‘Hinting at the timepiece's capacity for deadly accuracy, he adds: ‘It was twenty-four minutes past midnight.’’
      • ‘Not an International, but proving deadly in the Premiership whilst his form lasts.’
      • ‘Each strike and block was performed with flawless, deadly accuracy.’
      • ‘He charges like a mad man, swinging wildly yet very deadly and quite accurate.’
      • ‘Kendal's third and fourth goals also came from penalty corners again from Brooks, who dispatched accurately positioned balls with deadly accuracy.’
      • ‘He is hilarious when he plays a woman, because he nails it with deadly accuracy.’
      • ‘Taking aim she hurled her daggers at her enemy with deadly precision.’
      • ‘Practice this in front of a mirror until you can slightly part your lips and silently hit a target with deadly accuracy.’
      • ‘He throws the ball straight with deadly accuracy.’
      • ‘The one warrior, though not being nearly as powerful as the other, was quite quick and her fighting style deadly.’
    3. 1.3[attributive]Complete; total.
      ‘she was in deadly earnest’
      • ‘Morgan Freeman was now speaking in deadly earnest about Rainforests as the Lungs of Our Planet.’
      • ‘This is a continuous blast, until the eye of the hurricane reaches you and you get half and hour or so of deadly quietness.’
      • ‘There was a moment of deadly calm before people began to move, soft moans of pain from all around.’
      • ‘Let us take this issue with the deadly seriousness that it deserves -- not only on this International Day, but every day.’
      • ‘After a moment of deadly silence, the general spoke.’
      • ‘Byron may have been playing at soldiers, but at the same time he was in deadly earnest.’
      • ‘There are things of deadly earnest that can only be mentioned under the cover of a joke.’
    4. 1.4British informal Extremely boring.
      ‘my end of the theatre is deadly at the moment’
      • ‘Bemused glances helped them get through that deadly sermon.’
      • ‘Quiet filled the long, deadly moments that Abigail and James Corinne spent simply gawking at Callie.’
      • ‘"I only joined because of my mother," Chris tells her friend Annie after they've snickered through another deadly lecture on broccoli or carpet.’
      • ‘As a result, cultural choice is increasingly restricted, and a bland sameness, deadly and soporific, threatens the cultural landscape.’
      • ‘I barely even notice the battle anymore through the deadly monotony.’
      • ‘Viewers today typically consider busts academic, boring, deadly; in a museum, they are what you walk past on the way to the Impressionists.’
  • 2Australian Irish informal Very good; excellent.

    ‘it's a great town and the pubs are deadly’
    • ‘Breakfast was deadly!! The best breakfast potatoes I think I’ve ever had.’
    • ‘Just like to say it was deadly today. Had great fun.’

adverb

  • 1[as submodifier] In a way resembling or suggesting death; as if dead.

    ‘her skin was deadly pale’
    • ‘His face was deadly white, a bloody bandage swathed his neck, and his rainproof was soaked with the blood of a sniper's victim.’
    • ‘All the while being deadly silent, since I live with my grandmother and her bedroom is right next to the bathroom.’
    • ‘I lay deadly still and tried to listen for a sound to give me a clue to where I was, but all I could hear was my own erratic breathing.’
    • ‘The party mood was gone and everyone was deadly quiet.’
    deathly, deathlike, ashen, ghostly, white, pallid, wan, pale, ghastly
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Extremely.
      ‘a deadly serious remark’
      • ‘It's been a long and busy day, and the weather has been deadly dull and grey.’
      • ‘"Let me tell you something, " Christian continued, his voice deadly soft.’
      • ‘They are a deadly efficient machine, especially locally.’
      • ‘It is a deadly dull subject, almost guaranteed to drive away both voters and readers.’
      • ‘But there are other worthy contenders too - deadly fast men such as Holding and Walsh, and artful slow bowlers like Ramadhin and Gibbs.’
      • ‘Not even that deadly cute Lulu Guinness I saw at Nordie's.’
      • ‘‘I had the chance to sell to Honda, but I was deadly determined to do it on my own at that stage and that was '97,’ he said.’
      • ‘In particular, the host, Killian, feels that he would be the perfect contestant on the deadly popular show.’
      • ‘On the one hand, a nightmarish reality; on the other, a deadly boring dream.’
      • ‘I mean, even the last book I read was so deadly dull I had to skim the last third just to get it over with.’
      • ‘Heart failure is a deadly serious condition, but with good treatments people can double or triple their life expectancy.’
      • ‘This is not something I've ever done and I'm deadly uncomfortable with conflict, always have been, so this is quite a stretch.’
      • ‘She should still feign indifference in the entire matter, no matter how deadly curious she was.’
      • ‘Every inch the deadly precise aristocrat, Harris shines brighter than any other star in Enemy at the Gates.’
      • ‘The system at Dachau was simple, but deadly effective.’
      • ‘The Gunners had the most disastrous of starts, conceding a goal to the deadly dangerous John O'Brien inside a minute and going four points behind with just ninety seconds on the clock.’
      • ‘This joking remark caused Eisenhower to turn deadly serious.’
      • ‘It is journalistic slop, political flatulence and religious aggrandisement, and it is deadly dangerous.’
      • ‘Elves are that way though, jolly one moment and deadly serious when the situation needs it.’
      • ‘Bing Crosby was deadly afraid of heights.’

Origin

Old English dēadlīc ‘mortal, in danger of death’(see dead, -ly).

Pronunciation:

deadly

/ˈdɛdli/