- adj., adv., & n.
1 no longer alive.
2 colloq. extremely tired or unwell.
3 benumbed; affected by loss of sensation (my fingers are dead).
4 (foll. by to) unappreciative or unconscious of; insensitive to.
5 no longer effective or in use; obsolete, extinct.
6 (of a match, of coal, etc.) no longer burning; extinguished.
8 a lacking force or vigour; dull, lustreless, muffled. b (of sound) not resonant. c (of sparkling wine etc.) no longer effervescent.
9 a quiet; lacking activity (the dead season). b motionless, idle.
10 a (of a microphone, telephone, etc.) not transmitting any sound, esp. because of a fault. b (of a circuit, conductor, etc.) carrying or transmitting no current; not connected to a source of electricity (a dead battery).
11 (of the ball in a game) out of play.
12 abrupt, complete, exact, unqualified, unrelieved (come to a dead stop; a dead faint; a dead calm; in dead silence; a dead certainty).
13 without spiritual life.
1 absolutely, exactly, completely (dead on target; dead level; dead tired).
2 colloq. very, extremely (dead good; dead easy).
—n. (prec. by the)
1 (treated as pl.) those who have died.
2 a time of silence or inactivity (the dead of night).
Phrases and idioms:
dead-and-alive Brit. (of a place, person, activity, etc.) dull, monotonous; lacking interest. dead as the dodo see DODO. dead as a doornail see DOORNAIL. dead bat Cricket a bat held loosely so that it imparts no motion to the ball when struck. dead beat
1 colloq. exhausted.
2 Physics (of an instrument) without recoil.
1 colloq. a penniless person.
2 US sl. a person constantly in debt.
1 the exact centre.
2 the position of a crank etc. in line with the connecting-rod and not exerting torque. dead cert see CERT. dead duck sl. an unsuccessful or useless person or thing.
1 a closed end of a road, passage, etc.
2 (often (with hyphen) attrib.) a situation offering no prospects of progress or advancement. dead-eye Naut. a round flat three-holed block for extending shrouds. dead from the neck up colloq. stupid. dead hand an oppressive persisting influence, esp. posthumous control.
1 a race in which two or more competitors finish exactly level.
2 the result of such a race. dead-heat v.intr. run a dead heat. dead language a language no longer commonly spoken, e.g. Latin. dead letter a law or practice no longer observed or recognized. dead lift the exertion of one's utmost strength to lift something.
1 colloq. a useless person or thing.
2 a complete loss.
dead man's fingers
1 a kind of orchis, Orchis mascula.
2 any soft coral of the genus Alcyonium, with spongy lobes.
3 the finger-like divisions of a lobster's or crab's gills. dead man's handle (or pedal etc.) a controlling-device on an electric train, allowing power to be connected only as long as the operator presses on it. dead march a funeral march. dead men colloq. bottles after the contents have been drunk. dead-nettle any plant of the genus Lamium, having nettle-like leaves but without stinging hairs. dead-on exactly right. dead reckoning Naut. calculation of a ship's position from the log, compass, etc., when observations are impossible. dead ringer see RINGER. dead shot one who is extremely accurate. dead time Physics the period after the recording of a pulse etc. when the detector is unable to record another. dead to the world colloq. fast asleep; unconscious.
dead weight (or dead-weight)
1 a an inert mass. b a heavy weight or burden.
2 a debt not covered by assets.
3 the total weight carried on a ship. dead wood colloq. one or more useless people or things. make a dead set at see SET(2). wouldn't be seen dead in (or with etc.) colloq. shall have nothing to do with; shall refuse to wear etc.
Etymology: OE dead f. Gmc, rel. to DIE(1)
Useful english dictionary. 2012.