Definition of killing in English:



  • An act of causing death, especially deliberately.

    ‘the community was shocked by the brutal killings’
    [mass noun] ‘years of killing and destruction’
    • ‘Officers at the scene said it was one of the most brutal killings they had ever seen.’
    • ‘The village of Murma is in shock over the brutal killings of two young boys by their teacher.’
    • ‘I came to know of the killings of my parents only about a year after their death.’
    • ‘From now on things worsened with killings and bombings almost a regular occurrence.’
    • ‘Scotland Yard do not connect the present murders with those earlier killings.’
    • ‘Extra police and troops were at once moved into the area but it is feared that more killings are likely.’
    • ‘But they are quick to seize on other killings to try to justify the occupation.’
    • ‘Vernon ends up taking the rap for the killings and is sentenced to death.’
    • ‘There are documented cases of rape as a tool of war, mass killings and kidnappings.’
    • ‘He is also writing about his memories of the deaths, some of which were notorious killings.’
    • ‘It is a poison which has only ever been used for one-on-one killings and attempted killings.’
    • ‘An appeal for information on the killings is reported to have yielded no response.’
    • ‘A few public men, carried away by the excitement, attempted to justify these killings.’
    • ‘Everyone assumes that killings are political, and no serious investigations take place.’
    • ‘The brutal killings, many of which were committed using knives and swords, had begun.’
    • ‘There are equally new accounts on how the machetes and axes used in the killings were imported.’
    • ‘Between them they have amassed hundreds of years in sentences and committed numerous killings.’
    • ‘This is the way things are done here and if this money will stop any sort of revenge killings then it is worth it.’
    • ‘Murder, including serial killings, fall under the jurisdiction of state authorities.’
    • ‘It's widely acknowledged that the killings are the result of a drug related turf war.’
    murder, taking of life, assassination, homicide, manslaughter, liquidation, elimination, doing to death, putting to death, execution, dispatch, martyrdom
    slaughter, massacre, butchery, carnage, bloodshed, destruction, decimation, extermination, eradication, annihilation, wiping out, extinction
    patricide, matricide, parricide, infanticide, filicide
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  • 1Causing death.

    ‘a killing disease’
    • ‘Most are fighting chickens he breeds for death in the killing pits across the state line in Louisiana.’
    • ‘This killing stock transmits death to the branches upon it.’
    • ‘Cancer is one of the four big killing diseases in childhood; after leukaemia, tumours of the central nervous system are the most common cancers in childhood.’
    • ‘States, led by the killing machines of Texas and Florida, are putting to death women, children, the sick, and the mentally ill.’
    • ‘Yes, I know it's hard to believe we had nature's fastest and most perfect killing machine nesting mere yards from us and we got fascinated by heron feet.’
    • ‘Have we forgotten all the lessons of how to prevent this killing disease?’
    • ‘Conan eventually grows up and goes on a killing spree to avenge his parents' death.’
    • ‘They thought they could teach me to be the ultimate killing machine if they'd beat me to death.’
    • ‘But then the next day something happened that slowly transformed the killing despair of the jail and dispersed the power of death.’
    • ‘Those who did not starve to death were murdered in specially designed killing centres.’
    • ‘A pair of Staffordshire Terrier crosses mauled three cats to death and attacked a woman during a horrific killing spree on a Southampton estate.’
    • ‘These were the prototypes for the death camps, and refinement of systematic killing methods for large numbers of people was part of the deal.’
    • ‘Police found that Huang would tempt his victims into lying on the killing machine and suddenly strangle them to death with a strap.’
    • ‘First we had the privilege of enjoying Baise-Moi, a tale of female empowerment through an orgiastic killing spree, that failed to disturb simply because it was so shockingly bad.’
    • ‘I don't wanna tell tales outta school, but the grand dame may very well be a calculating, emotionless killing machine, a veritable monster amongst us lambs.’
    • ‘Those cute floppy paws are like that because they're spring-loaded killing machines, ideal for thwacking seals to death.’
    • ‘Sights like this, a whale beached off Cairns, found with six square metres of plastic in its body cavity, have caused outrage at the killing capacity of the plastic bag.’
    • ‘Once the strands unite, the wild blight fungus contracts the disease and its killing power wanes.’
    • ‘That really gets Benjamin Martin's attention, saddens him almost to death and puts him in a killing mode.’
    • ‘So it's up to Alice and a bunch of highly-trained killing machines to escape Raccoon City before Umbrella nukes the town and… oh, who cares?’
    deadly, lethal, fatal, mortal, death-dealing, causing death, life-threatening, final, destructive, dangerous
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  • 2informal Exhausting or unbearable.

    ‘a killing schedule’
    • ‘Sounds like a killing timetable dear - try to take care of yourself in all this!’
    • ‘Fatigue is the killing weight of expectation; and that burden is another good reason for fearing the worst.’
    • ‘DH is the supervisor of the maintenance area and is having problems keeping people, and the killing schedule is a big part of the reason.’
    unbearable, intolerable, unendurable, not to be borne, more than one can bear, more than flesh and blood can stand, insupportable, impossible
    exhausting, gruelling, punishing, taxing, draining, wearing, prostrating, sapping, crushing, tiring, fatiguing, debilitating, enervating, arduous, tough, demanding, onerous, strenuous, rigorous, relentless, unsparing, grinding, formidable
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    1. 2.1dated Extremely funny.
      hilarious, hysterically funny, outrageously funny, too funny for words, uproarious, riotous, comic, comical, chucklesome, amusing, laughable, absurd, ludicrous, outrageous
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