Definition of mortality in English:



mass noun
  • 1The state of being subject to death.

    ‘the work is increasingly haunted by thoughts of mortality’
    • ‘Why is it that we humans are subject to mortality?’
    • ‘Critics say that, unsurprisingly, death and mortality have been the chief preoccupations of his recent writings.’
    • ‘It certainly brings up mortality and how we'll feel when faced with death.’
    • ‘It poses a particular dilemma for a species already predisposed to enter a state of denial about personal mortality.’
    • ‘Fat people who manage to stay reasonably fit seem to have a risk of mortality little different to people of normal weight.’
    • ‘Fear gets you in touch with your own mortality; death is the most potent fear.’
    • ‘Many people knew someone who died, and it reminds people of their own mortality.’
    • ‘Their lives will be complicated by issues of timing, courage and mortality.’
    • ‘When Hamlet banters with the gravediggers, he becomes a clown himself, even if the subject matter is mortality.’
    impermanence, temporality, transience, ephemerality, impermanency, perishability
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  • 2Death, especially on a large scale.

    ‘the causes of mortality among infants and young children’
    • ‘Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer mortality among women worldwide.’
    • ‘Women have many children but there is a high rate of infant and child mortality.’
    • ‘Low birth weight and preterm birth are powerful determinants of morbidity and mortality in newborn babies and infants.’
    • ‘Infant and child mortality in the region is at least 50% higher than in neighbouring China.’
    • ‘Still, he cautions, nor are we exposed to the risks of illness, or high childhood mortality, faced by our ancestors.’
    • ‘The difficult subject of child mortality and attitudes to it are discussed, using evidence that is inevitably incomplete.’
    • ‘It is no surprise that even today TB is the leading infectious cause of mortality among adults.’
    • ‘We defined cardiovascular mortality as all deaths in which the cause was registered as being related to the heart.’
    • ‘In several western countries mortality among young men is rising.’
    • ‘Maternal deaths have been shown to account for a substantial burden of mortality among refugee women of reproductive age.’
    • ‘Influenza is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among residents of nursing homes.’
    • ‘Infant and child mortality have dropped sharply, and life expectancy has risen considerably.’
    • ‘At the same time, levels of excess female child mortality have been rising, as parents seek to ensure having sons.’
    • ‘Patients with schizophrenia suffer from increased physical ill health and excess mortality.’
    • ‘Five studies assessed mortality among frail older people who were at risk of adverse outcomes.’
    • ‘Influenza causes substantial morbidity and mortality among nursing home residents.’
    • ‘The relative contribution of cancer to overall mortality has been increasing in recent decades.’
    • ‘The most dramatic and perhaps most significant cause of natural mortality among gray whales is predation by killer whales.’
    death, loss of life, dying
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    1. 2.1 The number of deaths in a given area or period, or from a particular cause.
      ‘post-operative mortality was 90 per cent for some operations’
      • ‘Overall mortality among the fathers was higher than that in the mothers partly because the mean age of the fathers was higher.’
      • ‘If it could be proved that such centres would reduce the cancer mortality rate, few could argue against their introduction.’
      • ‘The mortality rate has risen one-and-a-half times over the same period.’
      • ‘We are seeing a decline in human mortality, people are living longer around the world, even in the poorest countries.’
      • ‘Our data indicate increasing mortality among people with schizophrenia.’
      • ‘Amongst very young chicks the mortality rate was quite high.’
      • ‘But the lung cancer mortality rate for both men and women has seen a gradual decline since 1980.’
      • ‘The under-fives mortality rate had fallen steadily to 56 deaths per 1,000 births.’
      • ‘Accordingly, mortality was higher among juveniles than adults and in spring than in winter.’
      • ‘A high hospital mortality rate might reflect substandard care or simply a busy emergency room.’
      • ‘The mortality rate for refugees in the overloaded and decrepit boats continues to rise.’
      • ‘Inequalities in health and mortality exist among different socioeconomic groups.’
      • ‘But the hospital's mortality rate is 113, which puts it just above the average band.’
      • ‘The mortality rate in his maternity wards eventually dropped to less than one percent.’
      • ‘The child mortality rate has more than doubled in the past decade and the average life expectancy at birth is just 58 years.’
      • ‘The report revealed the trust had the lowest mortality rate in the region and was among the top 10 in England.’
      • ‘The mortality rate from cancer has fallen by 12 per cent in the last six years.’
      • ‘Deaths from both diseases are falling, but the heart disease mortality rate has declined by more.’
      • ‘A high maternal mortality rate automatically exposes the lack of universal and safe health care.’
      • ‘Major trauma, particularly serious head injury, is associated with high mortality in people over 65 years.’
      impermanence, temporality, transience, ephemerality, impermanency, perishability
      View synonyms


Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin mortalitas, from mortalis (see mortal).