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adj. dead·er, dead·est
1. Having lost life; no longer alive.
2. Marked for certain death; doomed: knew when he saw the soldiers that he was a dead man.
a. Having the physical appearance of death: a dead pallor.
b. Lacking feeling or sensitivity; numb or unresponsive: Passersby were dead to our pleas for help.
c. Weary and worn-out; exhausted.
a. Not having the capacity to live; inanimate or inert.
b. Not having the capacity to produce or sustain life; barren: dead soil.
a. No longer in existence, use, or operation: a dead language.
b. No longer having significance or relevance: a dead issue.
c. Physically inactive; dormant: a dead volcano.
a. Not commercially productive; idle: dead capital.
b. Not circulating or running; stagnant: dead water; dead air.
a. Devoid of human or vehicular activity; quiet: a dead town.
b. Lacking all animation, excitement, or activity; dull: The party being dead, we left early.
8. Having no resonance. Used of sounds.
9. Having grown cold; having been extinguished: dead coals; a dead flame.
10. Lacking elasticity or bounce: That tennis ball is dead.
a. Not working because of a fault or breakdown: The motor is dead. The phone is dead.
b. Not connected to a source of electric current: a dead wire.
c. Drained of electric charge; discharged: a dead battery.
a. Sudden; abrupt: a dead stop.
b. Complete; utter: dead silence.
c. Exact; unerring: the dead center of a target.
13. Sports Out of play. Used of a ball.
1. (used with a pl. verb) People who have died: respect for the dead.
2. The period exhibiting the greatest degree of intensity: the dead of winter; the dead of night.
1. Absolutely; altogether: You can be dead sure of my innocence.
2. Directly; exactly: There's a gas station dead ahead.
3. Suddenly: She stopped dead on the stairway.
dead and buried
No longer in use or under consideration: All past animosities are dead and buried now.
dead in the water
Unable to function or move: The crippled ship was dead in the water. With no leadership, the project was dead in the water.
dead to rights
In the very act of making an error or committing a crime: The police caught the thief dead to rights with my silverware.
dead to the world
Soundly asleep.
over my dead body
Used to express dramatic refusal.

[Middle English ded, from Old English dēad; see dheu- in Indo-European roots.]

dead′ness n.
Synonyms: dead, deceased, departed, late, extinct, lifeless
These adjectives all mean without life. Dead applies in general to whatever once had—but no longer has—physical life (a dead body; a dead leaf), but is also applied to function (a dead battery) and force or currency (a dead issue; a dead language). Deceased and departed are polite or euphemistic terms referring only to people: attended a memorial service for a recently deceased friend; looking at pictures of departed relatives. Late is also restricted to people and usually implies recent death: a gift in memory of her late husband. Extinct can refer to what has no living successors (extinct species such as the dodo) or to what is extinguished or inactive (an extinct volcano). Lifeless applies to what no longer has physical life (a lifeless body), to what does not support life (a lifeless planet), or to what lacks animation, spirit, or brightness (a lifeless performance; lifeless colors).


informal a person who is dead
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References in classic literature ?
Why that horse,' said the carrier, jerking the rein to point him out, 'would be deader than pork afore he got over half the ground.
I touched their dust-covered faces with my finger, but Dagobert was deader than the sixteen centuries that have passed over him, Clovis slept well after his labor for Christ, and old Charlemagne went on dreaming of his paladins, of bloody Roncesvalles, and gave no heed to me.
The beggar can't kill me any deader in one mood than another.
My boy, I'm dead to them--off their books--a good deal deader than being off the hooks
Then mother's a deader too," cried the little girl dropping her face in her pinafore and sobbing bitterly.
The way it turned out it was a poor game and the pitch just got deader and deader but Warwickshire's intention was not to have a game like that.
But the village itself on a weekday afternoon in June is deader than the skin on a camel's hoof.
Yet, while that macho hairdresser look and plank-like acting skills may have earned him global fame in the '80s, The Hoff 's ascendancy in a decade renowned for its artisticvapidity meant that any legacy would end up deader than disco come the sombre light of the new millennium.
Audi A4 Audi A4 > Cheap and |Cheerful Although it's a company that's now deader than a dead thing, Saab got their 9-3 very right towards the end of its life.
Not surprisingly there are blown-out blow-dries and cancelled cut and colour appointments all over the place, and it's not long before Blades is deader than Ian's dust-gathering restaurant - remember that place?
Not surprisingly there are blown-out blow-dries and cancelled cut and colour appointments all over the place and it's not long before Blades is deader than Ian's dust-gathering restaurant - remember that place?
This runs contrary to the hunting ethic of not shooting birds on the ground, but the contradictions of spring turkey hunting are a perfect example of why more shot doesn't always equal deader birds, because the same principles apply to wingshooting.