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1. The act or action of causing death, as of a person.
2. A sudden large profit: made a killing on the stock market.
1. Causing or apt to cause death; fatal: a killing shot.
2. Thoroughly exhausting: a killing pace.
3. Informal Hilarious.

kill′ing·ly adv.


1. informal very tiring; exhausting: a killing pace.
2. informal extremely funny; hilarious
3. causing death; fatal
4. the act of causing death; slaying
5. informal a sudden stroke of success, usually financial, as in speculations on the stock market (esp in the phrase make a killing)
ˈkillingly adv


(ˈkɪl ɪŋ)

1. the act of a person or thing that kills.
2. the total game killed on a hunt.
3. a quick and unusually large profit or financial gain.
4. fatal or destructive.
5. exhausting: a killing pace.
6. Informal. irresistibly funny.
kill′ing•ly, adv.


See also death.

a substance or preparation for killing mites or ticks.
a place of bloodshed, so called after the field purchased by Judas with the bribe he received for betraying Christ.
Rare. 1. the murder of one friend by another.
2. the killer of a friend.
a homicidal mania.
the killing of birds.
a substance for killing bacteria.
the act of decapitation; beheading or being beheaded. — decoilator, n.
the act of hurling from a window, especially people.
1. the act of putting to death without pain a person incurably ill or suffering great pain; mercy killing.
2. an easy, painless death. — euthanasic, adj.
1. the act of suicide.
2. a person who commits suicide.
1. the killing of one’s brother.
2. a person who has killed his brother. — fratricidal, adj.
a substance that kills fungi or retards the growth of spores.
the killing of an entire people or of a very large number of a people. — genocidal, adj.
any substance for killing germs, especially bacteria. — germicidal, adj.
1. the killing of a giant.
2. a person who kills giants.
1. a sacrifice of one hundred oxen at one time, as in ancient Greece.
2. any slaughter on a large scale; a massacre.
a substance for killing unwanted plant growth.
1. a burnt offering or sacrifice.
2. large-scale destruction by fire or other violent means.
1. a general term for murder; the killing of another human being.
2. the murderer of another. — homicidal, adj.
a mania for murder.
the process of sacrificing, espeeially by flre. — immolator, n.
1. the murder of infants.
2. a person who kills infants. — infanticidal, adj.
a substance used for killing insects. — insecticidal, adj.
the act of cutting a person’s throat. See also remedies.
the process or act of pelting with stones, sometimes as a form of execution.
the killing of kangaroos.
the act of killing something for the purpose of sacrifice.
1. the killing of one’s husband.
2. a person who has killed her husband. — mariticidal, adj.
1. the killing of one’s mother.
2. a person who has killed his mother. — matricidal, adj.
a substance that kills microbes.
a substance for killing mites. — miticidal, adj.
Obsolete, a killing or an act of killing.
1. the murder of a parent or close relative.
2. one who has killed a parent or close relative. — parricidal, adj.
1. the killing of one’s father.
2. a person who has killed his father. — patricidal, adj.
any chemical substance used for killing pests, as insects, weeds, etc.
the murder of a king. — regicide, n. — regicidal, adj.
a substance that kills rodents.
a punishment in old Persia, in which criminals were imprisoned in a log or hollow tree. The head, arms, and legs of a victim were left exposed and smeared with honey to attract insects.
1. the killing of one’s sister.
2. a person who has killed his sister. — sororicidal, adj.
a substance or preparation used for killing sperm, used in contraception. — spermicidal, adj.
1. the killing of oneself.
2. one who has killed himself. — suicidal, adj.
1. the suicide of a Hindu widow by immolation on the funeral pyre of her husband.
2. a Hindu widow who died by suttee.
an agent or preparation for killing tapeworms. — taeniacidal, teniacidal, adj.
1. the killing of a tyrant.
2. the killer of a tyrant. — tyrannicidal, adj.
1. the killing of one’s wife.
2. a person who has killed his wife. — uxoricidal, adj.
the killing of a prophet. — vaticidal, adj.


There are several words which mean similar things to kill.

To murder someone means to kill them deliberately.

...the body of a murdered religious and political leader.

Assassinate is used to talk about the murder of an important person, often for political reasons.

The plot to assassinate Martin Luther King.

If a large number of people are murdered, the words slaughter or massacre are sometimes used.

Thirty four people were slaughtered while queuing up to cast their votes.
300 civilians are believed to have been massacred by the rebels.

Slaughter can also be used to talk about killing animals for their meat.

Chicken farms are having to slaughter their stock.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.killing - an event that causes someone to diekilling - an event that causes someone to die
fatality, human death - a death resulting from an accident or a disaster; "a decrease in the number of automobile fatalities"
2.killing - the act of terminating a lifekilling - the act of terminating a life  
ending, termination, conclusion - the act of ending something; "the termination of the agreement"
coup de grace, deathblow - the blow that kills (usually mercifully)
death - the act of killing; "he had two deaths on his conscience"
euthanasia, mercy killing - the act of killing someone painlessly (especially someone suffering from an incurable illness)
homicide - the killing of a human being by another human being
despatch, dispatch - killing a person or animal
fell - the act of felling something (as a tree)
self-annihilation, self-destruction, suicide - the act of killing yourself; "it is a crime to commit suicide"
slaughter - the killing of animals (as for food)
poisoning - the act of giving poison to a person or animal with the intent to kill
suffocation, asphyxiation - killing by depriving of oxygen
ritual killing, sacrifice - the act of killing (an animal or person) in order to propitiate a deity
electrocution - killing by electric shock
beheading, decapitation - killing by cutting off the head
genocide, race murder, racial extermination - systematic killing of a racial or cultural group
3.killing - a very large profit
colloquialism - a colloquial expression; characteristic of spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech
net income, net profit, profit, profits, earnings, lucre, net - the excess of revenues over outlays in a given period of time (including depreciation and other non-cash expenses)
Adj.1.killing - very funny; "a killing joke"; "sidesplitting antics"
colloquialism - a colloquial expression; characteristic of spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech
humorous, humourous - full of or characterized by humor; "humorous stories"; "humorous cartoons"; "in a humorous vein"


1. (Informal) tiring, hard, testing, taxing, difficult, draining, exhausting, punishing, crippling, fatiguing, gruelling, sapping, debilitating, strenuous, arduous, laborious, enervating, backbreaking He covered the last 300 metres in around 41sec, a killing pace.
2. deadly, deathly, dangerous, fatal, destructive, lethal, mortal, murderous, death-dealing Diphtheria was a killing disease.
make a killing (Informal) profit, gain, clean up (informal), be lucky, be successful, make a fortune, strike it rich (informal), make a bomb (slang), rake it in (informal), had a windfall They have made a killing on the deal.


The crime of murdering someone:
Slang: hit.
Informal. Extremely funny:
Informal: rich.


1. [blow, disease] → mortal
2. (= exhausting) [work, journey] → agotador, durísimo
3. (= funny) → divertidísimo, para morirse de (la) risa
B. N (= murder) → asesinato m; (large scale, also of animals) → matanza f
to make a killinghacer su agosto


(= murder) → assassinat m
a brutal killing → un assassinat brutal
the husband may have carried out the killings → le mari pourrait avoir commis les assassinats
(= practice of murder) → assassinat f
to make a killing (= make money) → se remplir les poches, réussir un beau coup
tordant(e)killing fields nplcharniers mpl


(of animals) (Hunt) → Erlegen nt; (at abattoir) → (Ab)schlachten nt
(of person)Töten nt, → Tötung f; three more killings in Belfastdrei weitere Morde or Todesopfer in Belfast
(fig) to make a killingeinen Riesengewinn machen
blow etctödlich
(= exhausting) workmörderisch (inf)
(= funny)urkomisch (inf)


1. n (murder) → uccisione f; (massacre) → strage f (fam) (profit) to make a killingfare un colpaccio
2. adj (blow) → mortale (fig) (work) → estenuante (fam) (funny) → divertentissimo/a
References in classic literature ?
At such times clubs would be used, often with the effect of killing or stunning the flying pests.
He has the religion of the matter, in believing what is to happen will happen; and with such a consolation, it won't be long afore he submits to the rationality of killing a four-footed beast to save the lives of human men.
Several stations which had lately been erected in the country were continually infested with savages, stealing their horses and killing the men at every opportunity.
Why such a whale became thus marked was not altogether and originally owing to his bodily peculiarities as distinguished from other whales; for however peculiar in that respect any chance whale may be, they soon put an end to his peculiarities by killing him, and boiling him down into a peculiarly valuable oil.
It seems that some honest mariners of Dover, or Sandwich, or some one of the Cinque Ports, had after a hard chase succeeded in killing and beaching a fine whale which they had originally descried afar off from the shore.
There were poor men trying to sell a worn-out beast for two or three pounds, rather than have the greater loss of killing him.
I've seen a buck that was shot down and a dying, look that way on a feller with his eye, that it reely most made a feller feel wicked for killing on him; and human creatures is a more serious consideration yet, bein', as thy wife says, that the judgment comes to 'em after death.
I was in a dismal state by this time; indeed, I was hardly enough in my right mind to keep the run of a dispute that sprung up as to how I had better be killed, the possibility of the killing being doubted by some, because of the enchantment in my clothes.
Neddy made a playful pretense of being distressed about the expense, and this amused her so much that she nearly exhausted herself with laughter--and this pleased HIM so much that he repeated his jest a couple of times, and added new and killing varieties to it.
I reckon he hadn't thought of a person having to have a REASON for killing a person before, and now he sees it warn't likely anybody would have that much of a grudge against a lamb like Jubiter Dunlap.
Rebecca was capable of certain set tasks, such as keeping the small children from killing themselves and one another, feeding the poultry, picking up chips, hulling strawberries, wiping dishes; but she was thought irresponsible, and Aurelia, needing somebody to lean on (having never enjoyed that luxury with the gifted Lorenzo), leaned on Hannah.
The soldiers saw that killing was going on, and ran up just as the slayers reached us.