The Wikipedia entry for "kill"
It has lots of etymological info on the word, so I'm depositing the relevant content here, so it can be disseminated and added to this Wiktionary entry:
- to destroy; do away with; extinguish: "His response killed our hopes."
- to destroy or neutralize the active qualities of: to kill an odor.
- to spoil the effect of: "His extra brushwork killed the painting."
- to cause (time) to be consumed with seeming rapidity or with a minimum of boredom, esp. by engaging in some easy activity or amusement of passing interest: "I had to kill three hours before plane time."
- to spend (time) unprofitably: "He killed ten good years on that job."
- Informal. to overcome completely or with irresistible effect: "That comedian kills me."
- to muffle or deaden: "This carpet kills the sound of footsteps."
- Informal. to cause distress or discomfort to: "These new shoes are killing me."
- Informal. to tire completely; exhaust: "The long hike killed us."
- Informal. to consume completely: "They killed a bottle of bourbon between them."
- to cancel publication of (a word, paragraph, item, etc.), esp. after it has been set in type.
- to defeat or veto (a legislative bill, etc.).
- Elect. to render (a circuit) dead.
- to stop the operation of (machinery, engines, etc.): "He killed the motor and the car stopped."
- Tennis. to hit (a ball) with such force that its return is impossible.
- Ice Hockey. to prevent the opposing team from scoring in the course of (a penalty being served by a teammate or teammates).
- to inflict or cause death.
- to commit murder.
- to be killed.
- to overcome completely; produce an irresistible effect: dressed to kill.
- Slang. to feel a smarting pain, as from a minor accident; sting: "I stubbed my little toe and that really kills."
- kill with kindness, to overdo in one's efforts to be kind: "The aunts would kill their nephews and nieces with kindness."
- kill off,
- a. to destroy completely; kill, esp. successively or indiscriminately: The invaders killed off all the inhabitants of the town.
- b. Informal. to extinguish; eliminate: The bus ride every day kills off all of my energy.
- the act of killing, esp. game: The hounds moved in for the kill.
- an animal or animals killed.
- a number or quantity killed.
- an act or instance of hitting or destroying a target, esp. an enemy aircraft.
- the target so hit or destroyed.
- In sports "kill shot".
I removed a sense that I believe is not truly a distinct sense of the word but merely a figurative use of sense #1, i.e. "Dad is going to kill me," merely implying hyperbole that Dad is going to punish me severely, which I am dreading to the same extent--or which will be as painful--as if here were to actually cause me to die. I also removed "To force a company out of business" because I think that's just an extended use of other senses, i.e. to render something inoperative or to annihilate.--22.214.171.124 09:40, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Might be a computing sense, but I don't know for sure. I vaguely remember the Visual Basic language from the 1990s having a Kill command that deleted files, and then there's the kill file. Equinox ◑ 21:09, 6 June 2012 (UTC)