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Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


From Old English dēadlīċ; equivalent to deed +‎ -ly.


  • IPA(key): /ˈdɛːdliː/, /ˈdɛdliː/



  1. deadly, lethal (causing death)
  2. murderous, bloodthirsty
  3. deathly (like or relating to death)
  4. close to death; on one's deathbed
  5. mortal (subject to death)
    • c. 1395, John Wycliffe, John Purvey [et al.], transl., Bible (Wycliffite Bible (later version), MS Lich 10.)‎[1], published c. 1410, Romayns 1:23, page 55v, column 1; republished as Wycliffe's translation of the New Testament, Lichfield: Bill Endres, 2010:
      And þei chaungiden þe gloꝛie of god vncoꝛruptible .· in to the licneſſe of an ymage of a dedli man · ⁊ of bꝛiddis · ⁊ of foure footid beeſtis · ⁊ of ſerpentis []
      And they replaced the glory of immortal God with idols of the form of a mortal man, of birds, of four-footed animals, and of snakes.
    • 1470–1485 (date produced), Thomas Malory, “Capitulum xxij”, in [Le Morte Darthur], book XVII, [London: [] by William Caxton], published 31 July 1485, →OCLC; republished as H[einrich] Oskar Sommer, editor, Le Morte Darthur [], London: David Nutt, [], 1889, →OCLC:
      And whan he cam to the sacrament of the masse / and had done / anone he called Galahad and sayd to hym come forthe the seruaunt of Ihesu cryst and thou shalt see that thou hast moche desyred to see / & thenne he beganne to tremble ryght hard / whan the dedely flesshe beganne to beholde the spyrytuel thynges
      And when he'd come to the sacrament of Mass and taken it, he called Galahad over immediately and said to him: "Come forward, servant of Jesus Christ, and you'll see what you've greatly desired to see". Then he began to tremble incredibly hard, as mortal flesh began to comprehend spiritual things.
  6. impermanent, transitory
  7. (rare) dead, deceased


  • English: deadly
  • Scots: deidly