lethal

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Latin lētālis (mortal, deadly), improperly written lethalis, from letum (death), improperly written as lethum, as associated with Greek λήθη (lethe, forgetfulness).

Adjective[edit]

lethal (comparative more lethal, superlative most lethal)

  1. Deadly; mortal; fatal.
    • 2013 July 20, “Old soldiers?”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8845: 
      Whether modern, industrial man is less or more warlike than his hunter-gatherer ancestors is impossible to determine. The machine gun is so much more lethal than the bow and arrow that comparisons are meaningless.
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Etymology 2[edit]

Abbreviation of “lauric acid ethereal salt”, so called because it occurs in the ethereal salt of lauric acid.

Noun[edit]

lethal (uncountable)

  1. (chemistry) One of the higher alcohols of the paraffine series obtained from spermaceti as a white crystalline solid.
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