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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English killen, kyllen, cüllen (to strike, beat, cut), possibly a variant of Old English cwellan (to kill, murder, execute) (see quell), or from Old Norse kolla (to hit on the head, harm) (compare Norwegian kylla (to poll), Middle Dutch kollen (to knock down), Icelandic kollur (top, head), see coll, cole). Compare also Middle Dutch killen, kellen (to kill), Middle Low German killen (to ache strongly, to cause one great pain), Middle High German kellen.


kill (third-person singular simple present kills, present participle killing, simple past and past participle killed)

  1. (transitive) To put to death; to extinguish the life of.
    Smoking kills more people each year than alcohol and drugs combined.
    There is conclusive evidence that smoking kills.
  2. (transitive, fiction) To invent a story that conveys the death of (a character).
    Shakespeare killed Romeo and Juliet for drama.
  3. (transitive) To render inoperative.
    He killed the engine and turned off the headlights, but remained in the car, waiting.
    Kirk Douglas, (actor, as Peter), The Fury (1978):
    Peter: Ask Childers if it was worth his arm.
    Policeman: What did you do to his arm, Peter?
    Peter: I killed it, with a machine gun.
  4. (transitive, figuratively) To stop, cease, or render void; to terminate.
    The editor decided to kill the story.
    The news that a hurricane had destroyed our beach house killed our plans to sell it.
    My computer wouldn't respond until I killed some of the running processes.
  5. (transitive, figuratively, hyperbolic) To amaze, exceed, stun, or otherwise incapacitate.
    That night, she was dressed to kill.
    That joke always kills me.
  6. (transitive, figuratively) To produce feelings of dissatisfaction or revulsion in.
    It kills me to throw out three whole turkeys, but I can't get anyone to take them and they've already started to go bad.
    It kills me to learn how many poor people are practically starving in this country while rich moguls spend such outrageous amounts on useless luxuries.
  7. (transitive) To use up or to waste.
    I'm just doing this to kill time.
    He told the bartender, pointing at the bottle of scotch he planned to consume, "Leave it, I'm going to kill the bottle."
  8. (transitive, figuratively, informal) To exert an overwhelming effect on.
    Between the two of us, we killed the rest of the case of beer.
    Look at the amount of destruction to the enemy base. We pretty much killed their ability to retaliate anymore.
  9. (transitive, figuratively, hyperbolic) To overpower, overwhelm, or defeat.
    The team had absolutely killed their traditional rivals, and the local sports bars were raucous with celebrations.
  10. (transitive) To force a company out of business.
  11. (intransitive, informal) To produce intense pain.
    You don't ever want to get rabies. The doctor will have to give you multiple shots and they really kill.
  12. (figuratively, informal, hyperbolic) To punish severely.
    My parents are going to kill me!
  13. (transitive, sports) To strike a ball or similar object with such force and placement as to make a shot that is impossible to defend against, usually winning a point.
    • 2011 February 4, Gareth Roberts, “Wales 19-26 England”, BBC:
      That close call encouraged Wales to launch another series of attacks that ended when lock Louis Deacon killed the ball illegally in the shadow of England's posts.
  14. (mathematics, transitive, idiomatic, informal) To cause to assume the value zero.
  15. (computing, Internet, IRC) To disconnect (a user) forcibly from the network.
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Related terms[edit]


kill (plural kills)

  1. The act of killing.
    The assassin liked to make a clean kill, and thus favored small arms over explosives.
  2. Specifically, the death blow.
    The hunter delivered the kill with a pistol shot to the head.
  3. The result of killing; that which has been killed.
    The fox dragged its kill back to its den.
    • Rudyard Kipling
      If ye plunder his kill' from a weaker, devour not all in thy pride.
  4. (volleyball) The grounding of the ball on the opponent's court, winning the rally.
    • 2011, the 34th Catawba College Sports Hall of Fame, in Catawba College's Campus Magazine, Spring/Summer 2011, page 21:
      As a senior in 1993, Turner had a kill percentage of 40.8, which was a school record at the time and the best in the SAC. Turner concluded her volleyball career with 1,349 kills, ranking fifth all-time at Catawba.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle Dutch kille via Dutch kil


kill (plural kills)

  1. A creek; a body of water; a channel or arm of the sea.
    The channel between Staten Island and Bergen Neck is the Kill van Kull, or the Kills.
    Schuylkill, Catskill, etc.

Etymology 3[edit]


kill (plural kills)

  1. A kiln.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Fuller to this entry?)




  1. Not



From Old High German kuoli, from Proto-Germanic *kōlaz. Cognate with German kühl, English cool, Dutch koel, Low German kool.



kill (masculine killen, feminine kill, neuter killt)

  1. cool


Related terms[edit]