Main definitions of kill in US English:

: kill1kill2



[with object]
  • 1Cause the death of (a person, animal, or other living thing)

    ‘her father was killed in a car crash’
    no object ‘a robber armed with a shotgun who kills in cold blood’
    • ‘A teenage boy was killed in the crossfire, and two soldiers were wounded.’
    • ‘During last year's Bank Holiday period six people were killed on the roads.’
    • ‘Some 250,000 sea birds were killed and the local fishing industry was devastated.’
    • ‘This time, for the first time, he killed out of anger and hate.’
    • ‘Insecticides will kill the butterfly larvae as well as the aphids, so allow ladybugs time to eliminate them.’
    • ‘I have thoughts of killing myself but would not carry them out.’
    • ‘What does appal me is when overfed and bored domestic cats torture and kill birds for pleasure.’
    • ‘The dust contains compounds and organisms that are damaging and probably killing the living coral.’
    • ‘Hamlet is able to avenge his father's death by killing his uncle.’
    • ‘The British fox is an opportunist predator, which kills poultry, new-born lambs and piglets, as well as young hares and wild ground-nesting birds.’
    • ‘Some thirty people were killed in the clash between partisans of the two performers.’
    • ‘If the virus kills a bird quickly, the animal is less likely to spread the disease.’
    • ‘The point being that chimps tend to kill with impunity in the wild.’
    • ‘He was tragically killed in an accident while serving with our forces overseas.’
    • ‘Licenses to kill marine mammals trying to eat farmed fish can be obtained from the department for $5.’
    • ‘Troy, however, was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident this summer.’
    • ‘He paid tribute to the two soldiers killed in the crash.’
    • ‘Tuna boats, for example, often kill sharks, turtles, and dolphins that get trapped in their nets.’
    • ‘Fish farmers are licensed to kill predators that threaten their nets, pens and fish.’
    • ‘When the daughter of an industrialist apparently kills herself, her sister is unconvinced.’
    murder, cause the death of, end the life of, take the life of, do away with, make away with, assassinate, do to death, eliminate, terminate, dispatch, finish off, put to death, execute
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    1. 1.1kill someone/something off Get rid of or destroy completely, especially in large numbers.
      ‘there is every possibility all river life would be killed off for generations’
      • ‘Environmentalists who have studied the effects of river pollution are sceptical of claims that all wildlife is killed off.’
      • ‘In World War I, most of the best, bravest, and brightest young men were killed off.’
      • ‘One book that is covered here has been indirectly responsible for millions of people being killed off.’
      • ‘They are dying out because the wild flowers on which their caterpillars feed are being killed off by farmers, landowners and foresters.’
      • ‘The brave little boy went through six weeks of radiotherapy then another six months of chemotherapy before the cancer was finally killed off.’
      • ‘It showed the disease was still prevalent in the run-up to autumn and had not been killed off by recent warm weather, he said.’
      • ‘Eventually the tumours were killed off by high-tech laser surgery.’
      • ‘The cornflowers which used to sprinkle farmers' fields with blue have been killed off as weeds by herbicides.’
      • ‘The old Mini was effectively killed off in 1999 by safety and emissions regulations.’
      • ‘All animals that could not be made to perform some sort of service to society were completely killed off.’
    2. 1.2kill someone off (of a writer) bring about the “death” of a fictional character.
      • ‘I'm not thinking about whether I would go back but my character was not killed off, she just left, like most people, in a black cab.’
      • ‘The writers typically kill them off in an unexplained accident - like a car crash, or falling off a horse.’
      • ‘The sympathetic characters are quickly killed off, leaving two.’
      • ‘I get so into my characters that I can't find the strength to kill them off or let them live in misery.’
      • ‘The tone has become sunnier: fewer good guys are killed off, and the hero usually ends up getting the girl.’
      • ‘Or maybe it didn't give you enough time to care about the characters before it started killing them off.’
      • ‘It even poaches the ending of its predecessor, when all the characters are killed off in the final episode.’
      • ‘Creator David Chase reportedly considered killing Livia off and ending the series.’
      • ‘TV detective Chief Inspector Endeavour Morse, played by John Thaw, was killed off last Wednesday.’
      • ‘Since the character was killed off five years ago, things are now much worse.’
  • 2Put an end to or cause the failure or defeat of (something)

    ‘the committee voted to kill the project’
    • ‘A no vote by Chile could kill plans for granting it the same access to the US market that Canada and Mexico now enjoy.’
    • ‘In another attempt to keep the pace moving, the committee voted to kill radio and television timeouts in overtime.’
    • ‘Any hopes Birmingham had of getting back into the match were killed off by Wayne Rooney with a 78th minute goal.’
    • ‘A few corporations got to buy a few favours from the government, but the schemes had largely collapsed by the time they were killed off.’
    • ‘Trafford Park itself went into a decline, which meant there was less demand for buses so certain services were killed off.’
    • ‘Scotland's once great steel industry was virtually killed off with the closure of Ravenscraig in 1992.’
    • ‘Failure may not kill the President's second-term, but it will weaken it and overshadow successes in other areas.’
    • ‘Benn's proposals for democratising industry were killed off by the civil service and the Labour leadership.’
    • ‘Authorities' failure to kill the counterfeits is in part because the vendors have found a way around the system.’
    • ‘The suspended bill is then voted on by those registered to vote and if the majority vote against the bill, it is killed off.’
    • ‘The California measure was killed in committee, but the industry has had little time to celebrate.’
    • ‘But the show was killed off despite the best efforts of Gallagher, an expert in PR spin before the term was invented.’
    • ‘It was killed by a single vote in the Senate's Judiciary Proceedings Committee.’
    • ‘All sorts of artists and programmers are making changes to the game all the time, and any one change might kill performance.’
    • ‘Earlier schemes for their redevelopment were killed off by the property downturn of 1990-93.’
    • ‘The Scottish parliament could proceed with the bill despite a recommendation by the committee to kill it.’
    • ‘Early plans for a bit of work were killed off when he lost his job.’
    • ‘It was killed by five votes in a filibuster in the Senate, so we came very close just 35 years ago.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the Tunnel was killed off when the military feared that it might be used as an invasion route.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, it does mean we're in for a tedious few months as the singles sales chart is finally killed off.’
    destroy, put an end to, bring to an end, be the end of, end, extinguish, dash, quell, quash, ruin, wreck, shatter, smash, crush, scotch
    veto, defeat, vote down, rule against, reject, throw out, overrule, stop, block, put a stop to, put an end to, quash, overturn, disallow
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    1. 2.1 Stop (a computer program or process).
      • ‘It also defeats all known firewalls, killing the running process, replacing the firewall icon, and allowing a stealth FTP connection.’
      • ‘I managed to get rid of the dialog by killing some offending system process, but then lost all my unsaved work when the machine rebooted anyway.’
      • ‘Running top and killing the process via top didn't work either.’
      • ‘Users have to first kill the Msblast.exe process in Windows Task Manager before they can get anywhere.’
      • ‘Why I should have the right to kill a malicious process on your machine’
    2. 2.2informal Switch off (a light or engine).
      • ‘The motorcyclist killed his engine and dismounted.’
      • ‘Jack killed the lights on his old truck a block before he arrived at the house Woodbridge and Tattersall shared.’
      • ‘As the boat reaches the GPS coordinates for Table Top, a rise in the ocean floor southwest of Tatoosh Island, Anderson kills the motor.’
      • ‘She killed the engine and climbed out.’
      • ‘I ticked halfway down this service road and stopped the van and killed the lights.’
      turn off, switch off, stop, stop working, shut off, shut down, cut, cut out, deactivate
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    3. 2.3informal Delete (a line, paragraph, or file) from a document or computer.
      • ‘So I saved the space by killing all the widow lines; I could cut a word and save a line.’
      • ‘If activated it will kill DLL files related to the updating components of various anti-virus programs.’
      • ‘That makes it difficult for such users to commit themselves to deleting files and decisions have to be made about what files to kill and what files to keep.’
      delete, wipe out, erase, remove, destroy, rub out, cut out, cut, cancel, get rid of, expunge, obliterate, eliminate
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    4. 2.4 (in soccer or other ball games) make (the ball) stop.
      • ‘A long ball in from Ball was killed by the Dutchman, who turned and hit it beyond the helpless Arthur.’
      • ‘When the ball came off my foot on the 50-yard try, I knew I had enough distance because I killed the ball.’
      • ‘Just looking at Joe, you can tell he's got the size and strength to really kill the ball.’
      • ‘He penalised us senseless out there and they were killing so much ball.’
    5. 2.5Tennis (in tennis and similar games) hit (the ball) so forcefully that it cannot be returned.
    6. 2.6 Neutralize or subdue (an effect or quality)
      ‘the sauce would kill the taste of the herbs’
      • ‘The companies that claim this will kill innovation are making a big deal out of nothing.’
      • ‘This is corporate committee think, and committees always kill creativity.’
      • ‘The trick is to kill pest insects without killing the taste or texture of the food they infest.’
      • ‘Do not refrigerate tomatoes, or you'll kill the taste.’
      • ‘A software patent, which serves to protect inventions of a non-technical nature, could kill the high innovation rate.’
      • ‘The incessant spread of globalization is killing the very qualities of distinctiveness and diversity of our differing cultures that make this world such a special place to live in.’
      muffle, deaden, stifle, dampen, damp down, smother, reduce, diminish, decrease, suppress, abate, tone down, moderate, silence, mute, still, quieten, soften, quell
      alleviate, assuage, soothe, allay, take the edge off, mitigate, dull, blunt, mask, deaden, stifle, suppress, subdue, weaken, abate, quell, get rid of, put an end to
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    7. 2.7informal Consume the entire contents of (a bottle containing an alcoholic drink).
      • ‘They killed the bottle in half an hour.’
      • ‘A sad thing is going up to the bar to pour your last glass of whiskey, then discovering your first glass killed the bottle.’
  • 3informal Overwhelm (someone) with an emotion.

    ‘the suspense is killing me’
    • ‘The suspense was killing me, even though I knew what he would say.’
    • ‘He just hoped that Faye would reply soon because the suspense was killing him.’
    • ‘The suspense was killing me as I popped the disc in the player and settled down.’
    • ‘I'm currently waiting for so much stuff, the suspense is killing me.’
    • ‘I am worried in case I get rejected, but I can't stand not knowing him and the curiosity is killing me.’
    • ‘Ana couldn't contain herself any longer, the suspense was killing her, she had to ask him, she just had to.’
    • ‘There's another 4 days left on that and the suspense is killing me!’
    • ‘I've emailed her a few times to let her know I'm available, but she just deletes me and the rejection is killing me!’
    • ‘The suspense is killing me, I have to know if he will choose to leave or not!’
    • ‘Please. Stop. The anxiety is killing me.’
    • ‘I think the suspense is going to kill me before Saturday!’
    • ‘I buried my face in Scott's chest and let go of all the repressed emotions that had been slowly killing me.’
    overwhelm, take someone's breath away, leave speechless, shake, move, stir, stun, amaze, astonish, stagger, dumbfound
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    1. 3.1kill oneself Overexert oneself.
      ‘I killed myself carrying those things home’
      • ‘I'm tired of chasing technology, literally killing myself every two years to come out with a new product.’
      • ‘Sir Walter Scott nearly killed himself writing enough to pay for his home.’
      • ‘Figure that as a percentage of your take home and it becomes evident that you're killing yourself with work and family for - literally - nothing.’
      • ‘Doing an OK job and getting 2% makes far better economic sense when compared to killing yourself and getting 3%.’
      • ‘What you realise is you don't win any medals by killing yourself.’
      exhaust, wear out, tire out, overtax, overtire, fatigue, weary, sap, drain, tax, strain, debilitate, enervate, prostrate
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    2. 3.2 Used hyperbolically to indicate that someone will be extremely angry with (another person)
      ‘my parents will kill me if they catch me out here’
      • ‘And what kills me is some people in the media saying she ran away.’
      • ‘It kills me how people buy these things and spout about how safe they are.’
      • ‘Dad will kill you when he finds out you're drunk!’
      • ‘These pro-abortion people kill me - they all act as if the most important thing is making abortion safe.’
      • ‘Bob will kill us if we don't do what we're supposed to do.’
    3. 3.3 Cause pain or anguish to.
      ‘my feet are killing me’
      • ‘But at least the new scenarios don't kill you trying to keep guests happy.’
      • ‘There is no electricity, no water, the heat is killing us.’
      • ‘My back is killing me tonight and my wonderful husband propped me up at the computer chair with some pillows.’
      • ‘I'm a bit tired today, knees and ankles are killing me from all the walking I did last night, but it was well worth it.’
      • ‘He's been part of my soul, we grew up together, and it kills me to know how badly I have hurt him.’
      hurt, give pain to, cause pain to, cause agony to, pain, torture, torment, cause discomfort to
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  • 4Pass (time, or a specified amount of it), typically while waiting for a particular event.

    ‘when he reached the station he found he actually had an hour to kill’
    • ‘Which is how I wound up at Panera with a little bit of time to kill the other day, and found the network to be hors de combat.’
    • ‘On a holiday or on business and have few hours to kill and want to spend it well?’
    • ‘Sunday came - the sun splitting the stones - and we had a few hours to kill before heading for Molly Ryan's to see the minor game.’
    • ‘There was a McDonalds in our campground, and I decided to kill another half an hour and get myself a hamburger.’
    • ‘With hours still to kill, he's lurking around the station when Walker passes.’
    • ‘This sometimes-excruciating process usually kills a half-day, and this visit was no exception.’
    • ‘That was enough to kill a good few hours in the afternoon.’
    • ‘He only became aware of that when he felt that all he had been doing was trying to kill the excessive spare time he had on his hands.’
    • ‘Knowing that I have several hours to kill on my own and that no-one will likely pop round makes me incredibly anxious.’
    while away, use up, fill up, fill in, fill, occupy, beguile, pass, spend, expend
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  • 1usually in singular An act of killing, especially of one animal by another.

    ‘a lion has made a kill’
    • ‘"There are a lot of ways for an easier, quicker kill," he began.’
    • ‘We are also close enough to ensure a quick, clean kill.’
    • ‘The sport itself is not in the kill, but in the chase.’
    • ‘There is little thrill of the chase, but some quiet satisfaction after the kill.’
    • ‘If players are able to remain concealed from their prey, they can attack and perform a stealth kill.’
    • ‘But many hunts say there are enough options within the law to allow foxes, hares and deer to be legally chased by hounds, though guns may be used for the kill.’
    • ‘There had not been a single contact with the terrorists, let alone a confirmed kill.’
    • ‘When news of the kill reached the Indians on the beach, they organized a celebration at their community centre seven miles away.’
    • ‘There are always soldiers who exult in the kill and keep mementos of their victims.’
    • ‘First kills are made to gain the favor of the female.’
    • ‘You know, no one likes to see a kill, really, in Africa, but that's what nature does.’
    • ‘The fish that were hurt in the fish kill were mainly pike.’
    • ‘Some soldiers reportedly participated in a contest over who would make the first confirmed kill after the company was redeployed.’
    • ‘The meet took place 48 hours after the Hunting Bill came into force and unknown to the police the riders made a kill.’
    • ‘Had he taken the time to do this before, he would easily have made a kill during his journey that day, as the valley was rich with wildlife.’
    • ‘Which points to the whole serial killer thing: he likes the kill.’
    • ‘I was brought up in Shropshire, so I know all about fox hunting and saw them setting off, all excited, ready for the kill.’
    • ‘He told McConchie that the company's started buying cattle, with the first kill scheduled for Monday.’
    • ‘Commemorate your first confirmed kill with a combat patch!’
    • ‘Even now, a great white was rising from the deep, circling for the kill… or something worse.’
    • ‘An elephant kill is an act of courage, and they know the meat and ivory will trade well.’
    death blow, killing, act of killing, dispatch
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    1. 1.1 An animal or animals killed, either by a hunter or by another animal.
      ‘the vulture is able to survey the land and locate a fresh kill’
      • ‘Then the kill is cut up and divided among members of the boat clan, as well as the sail-makers and boatbuilders.’
      • ‘Sure enough, just after dusk, there was a fearful scuffle outside, accompanied by a great squeaking and in popped Dolly with a fresh kill.’
      • ‘On top of this, the bull kill is up 25,000 head leaving male cattle very scarce between now and Christmas.’
      • ‘Just before we found him we'd come across a fresh kill, a young springbok captured during the night.’
      • ‘Pups are dependent on regurgitation until they can follow the hunting party and feed directly at the kill.’
      • ‘Given a continuing rise in the kill over the past two weeks, parity with the weekly kill in 2004 will be reached by the middle of this month.’
      • ‘Far from being the craven cowards they have often been depicted as, they are capable, at times, of driving lions from their kill.’
      • ‘The overall kill at the factories for the week was slightly down which could have had an effect on holding prices, but clearly that did not happen.’
      • ‘The indications are that there is still a strong supply of these older cattle in the system and that the kill is likely to hold up for some weeks yet.’
      • ‘The bullock kill was 14,028 head compared to 16,767 head the same week last year.’
      • ‘Thus they had to acquire their meat largely by scavenging the kills of other animals.’
      • ‘Like two men carrying a kill between them, they strode back inland.’
      • ‘On the main road, I speak with two rangers who have stopped to observe a wolf kill left next to the river.’
      • ‘But as the scent from the fresh kill drifted towards them, the predators gave way to its intoxicating nature.’
      • ‘One of the less lovely animals in the world are the hyenas, thought of almost universally as a cowardly animal living off the kills of other predators, such as lions.’
      • ‘This was how he had learned to be able to keep a kill for himself.’
      • ‘The throughput at the processors for January and February peaked in 1999 with a kill of 348,000 head.’
      • ‘Today, he appeared on the doorstep dragging a fresh kill.’
      • ‘Combined this will reduce the kill by up to 100,000, all of which will occur in the first six months of the year.’
      • ‘Two men of mine have left to bring forth a fresh kill to the clan.’
      prey, quarry, victim, bag
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    2. 1.2informal An act of destroying or disabling an enemy aircraft, submarine, tank, etc.
      • ‘The Submarine Service could have had a kill on the first day of the war but the torpedo went underneath a German ship.’
      • ‘Pilots are given credit for kills for knocking aircraft out of the skies, not necessarily killing the opposing pilot.’
      • ‘Three of the aircraft that scored MiG kills were older Mirages.’
      • ‘There seems to be at least one confirmed kill of an enemy plane with such a rifle.’
      death blow, killing, act of killing, dispatch
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 (in tennis and similar games) a very forceful shot that cannot be returned.
      • ‘Captain Kieran Burke had some superb kill shots from the rear of the court to save the day.’
      • ‘This season he finished fourth in the league with a 3.76 kills per game average and made it onto the BCCAA second all-star team.’
      • ‘Sophomore striker Gaby Lesniak prepares to drive home a kill against Queen's during round-robin play.’
      • ‘Gramatica just missed a field goal, and the Niners have to go for a kill shot right off the bat if they are going to make some noise.’
      • ‘He is the target man the midfielders tend to feed first, the forward who will soften up defences and lay off the balls from which Larsson executes the kill.’
      • ‘Della Mora, Iannetta and captain Chris Hopiavuori all made key contributions on the penalty kill in this respect.’
      • ‘To do so he must have a variety of kill shots, and the nerve to throw them with the utmost precision.’
      • ‘He kept his team in both games with highlight reel saves on breakaways, odd man rushes and the penalty kill.’
      • ‘Mousseau averaged 3.09 kills per game, which was the sixth best average in the entire OUA.’
      • ‘The Raiders have been solid this half, and if they can go for a kill shot right here the Jets are in trouble.’


  • be in at the kill

    • Be present at or benefit from the successful conclusion of an enterprise.

      • ‘He's courageous, fast, tireless and certainly not squeamish about being in at the kill.’
      • ‘In that event, it seems quite possible the French jackal will be in at the kill as well.’
  • go (or move in or close in) for the kill

    • Take decisive action, often ruthlessly, to turn a situation to one's advantage.

      • ‘One side of politics finds a hint of weakness in the other side and goes in for the kill.’
      • ‘As Watson went in for the kill, a desperate Eubank caught him with a right hand and took the ascendancy.’
      • ‘Like the bloodhounds they are, they must have sniffed the overpowering scent of money mixed with a human rights issue, and went in for the kill.’
      • ‘So how should India go for the kill in this match?’
      • ‘A swift headbutt and a hard slam into my own solar plexus left me gasping for breath and I closed in for the kill so to speak.’
      • ‘Yet watch him on a tennis court and he is transformed into a ruthless matador, drawing his opponents in and going for the kill.’
      • ‘During the seventh inning stretch, we went for the kill.’
      • ‘If he sees another competitor moving in for the kill, though, he wouldn't hesitate to move full-time into his South Beach Miami apartment.’
      • ‘The biggest difference was the finishing, not least by Jason Robinson, whose timing is never seen to better advantage than when he is moving in for the kill.’
      • ‘However, a feeble turn-out will give the anti-hunting majority within Labour ranks the opportunity to close in for the kill and force through an outright ban.’
  • if it kills one

    • informal Whatever the problems or difficulties involved.

      ‘we are going to smile and be pleasant if it kills us’
      • ‘It will take all of their energy and wits to survive the beast known as New York, even if it kills them.’
      • ‘You're going to learn how to operate that thing if it kills me.’
      • ‘You're gonna get over this stupid fear of cats if it kills me!’
      • ‘Tomorrow will be a productive day if it kills me.’
      • ‘We are going to get you two ready and you are going to have fun tonight, if it kills you!’
      • ‘In 48 hours I'll be on a plane… so unprepared for this trip, but it's going to happen and I'm going to relax and have a good time, even if it kills me.’
      • ‘I suspect the best solution to weight gain is not another miracle diet but more exercise, even if it kills you.’
      • ‘We're going to do our darnedest to enjoy it though, even if it kills us!.’
      • ‘This is our land, and we cannot leave it, even if it kills us.’
      • ‘I have set the goal of 500 for myself and, by jeebus, I am going to get there if it kills me.’
  • kill oneself laughing

    • informal Be overcome with laughter.

      • ‘If you said to me during pre-season that this would happen I'd have killed myself laughing, everything was going really well.’
      • ‘Wendy and I nearly killed ourselves laughing at that French woman.’
      • ‘What makes it even better is I know she would have been killing herself laughing as she packed it.’
      • ‘The schedulers must have been killing themselves laughing when they thought of that little wheeze.’
      • ‘The only reason I remembered the weird ones was because I killed myself laughing when I re-read the list in the car on the way here.’
      • ‘We knew it and it always ended up with the two of us killing ourselves laughing at each other as we would both give in at the same time.’
      • ‘When I first did a read-through round at John's house, we had to keep stopping because I was just killing myself laughing.’
      • ‘Then she and Gil banged heads in the hotel room and Gil cried ‘ouch’ and suddenly she was killing herself laughing.’
      • ‘If I write a funny line and kill myself laughing over it, I guarantee you it's not funny.’
      • ‘Within minutes I was killing myself laughing at her description of the self - congratulatory bigwigs of the media set.’
  • kill two birds with one stone

    • proverb Achieve two aims at once.

      • ‘His father-in-law had been trying unsuccessfully to sell a dilapidated house in Ilkley and the couple decided to buy it for themselves, killing two birds with one stone.’
      • ‘Yesterday when I left work with the dog I thought I will walk through the green, killing two birds with one stone.’
      • ‘An innovative program is attempting to kill two birds with one stone - help improve the traffic management in the city and integrate the disabled into society.’
      • ‘If you haven't finished picking your currants yet, kill two birds with one stone by pruning them first.’
      • ‘I like multi-tasking, killing two birds with one stone.’
      • ‘Since this dovetails neatly with the office Christmas party, well, I figure killing two birds with one stone would do the job nicely.’
      • ‘We have killed two birds with one stone by renting them; we get money and we indirectly advertise our bank to the department store's customers.’
      • ‘Bringing employees up through the ranks kills two birds with one stone: It fills an opening with a proven performer and it provides good employees with a career path - and one more reason to stay.’
      • ‘This would have killed two birds with one stone, combining a focusless programme looking for a theme with an ill-defined product looking for an identity.’
      • ‘For the polling station at Great Langton, near Northallerton, was in the bar of the village pub, offering ample opportunity for killing two birds with one stone.’
  • kill with (or by) kindness

    • Spoil with overindulgence.

      • ‘Wilson plays Vann, a genteel psychopath who murders his victims with poisoned Amaretto after killing them with kindness.’
      • ‘If they aren't competing with each other to be Top Mom, they're killing him with kindness.’
      • ‘And sympathy isn't necessarily just a pose struck in order to kill him with kindness.’
      • ‘‘After all, you can kill someone with kindness,’ he said.’
      • ‘‘When they realised I was really a reporter and not a spy they killed me with kindness, really,’ she said.’
      • ‘The firm's directors now have 10 days to consider a response to this attempt to kill them with kindness.’
      • ‘Conversely you could make sweet love to them if you prefer to kill them with kindness.’
      • ‘One good way to deal with all your enemies, including pests like this guy, is to kill them with kindness.’
      • ‘At that point I figured I had two choices; either say something sarcastic and toss my hair and storm out of the cooler, or kill her with kindness.’
      • ‘It seemed that we have been killing him with kindness.’
      pamper, spoil, overindulge, coddle, mollycoddle, cosset, nanny, nursemaid, mother, baby, pet, spoon-feed, feather-bed, wrap in cotton wool, overparent
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Middle English (in the sense ‘strike, beat’, also ‘put to death’): probably of Germanic origin and related to quell. The noun originally denoted a stroke or blow.




Main definitions of kill in US English:

: kill1kill2



  • (in place names, especially in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) a stream, creek, or tributary.

    ‘Kill Van Kull’
    • ‘As the ridges began to recede from the river, kills flowed down to expend themselves in the Hudson.’


Mid 17th century: from Dutch kil, from Middle Dutch kille ‘riverbed, channel’.