9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kil] /kɪl/
verb (used with object)
to deprive of life in any manner; cause the death of; slay.
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, especially 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.), especially after it has been set in type.
to defeat or veto (a legislative bill, etc.).
Electricity. 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.
  1. to deoxidize (steel) before teeming into an ingot mold.
  2. to eliminate springiness from (wire or the like).
  3. to cold-roll (sheet metal) after final heat treatment in order to eliminate distortion.
Ice Hockey. to prevent the opposing team from scoring in the course of (a penalty being served by a teammate or teammates).
verb (used without object)
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.
the act of killing, especially 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, especially an enemy aircraft.
the target so hit or, especially, destroyed.
Sports. kill shot.
Verb phrases
kill off,
  1. to destroy completely; kill, especially successively or indiscriminately:
    The invaders killed off all the inhabitants of the town.
  2. Informal. to extinguish; eliminate:
    The bus ride every day kills off all of my energy.
kill with kindness, to overdo in one's efforts to be kind:
The aunts would kill their nephews and nieces with kindness.
Origin of kill1
1175-1225; Middle English cullen, killen to strike, beat, kill, Old English *cyllan; cognate with dialectal German küllen (Westphalian). See quell
Related forms
killable, adjective
self-killed, adjective
unkilled, adjective
Can be confused
kill, kiln.
Synonym Study
1. Kill, execute, murder all mean to deprive of life. Kill is the general word, with no implication of the manner of killing, the agent or cause, or the nature of what is killed (whether human being, animal, or plant): to kill a person. Execute is used with reference to the putting to death of one in accordance with a legal sentence, no matter what the means are: to execute a criminal. Murder is used of killing a human being unlawfully: He murdered him for his money.


[kil] /kɪl/
noun, Chiefly New York State.
a channel; creek; stream; river: used especially in place names:
Kill Van Kull.
1660-70, Americanism; < Dutch kil, Middle Dutch kille channel Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for kill
  • The character sheriff earl mcgraw appears in both kill bill, vol.
  • When alex gets to a section of the game with jungle, he is able to kill a snake.
  • He forced jon to kill him in front of the wildings to legitimize his request.
  • Usually, soviet snipers were unable to resist the temptation of an apparently easy kill.
  • Cobras, vipers, and closely related species use venom to immobilize or kill their prey.
  • Several kill task quests are based from the deep and yield good xp on completion.
  • The crew have to kill a day before the next shuttle flight, so bunny suggests las vegas.
  • Blood is similar to peg or kill, and is also often called outs.
  • The number of kicks is determined beforehand, as in two hit kill using two hits.
  • After achieving the first two hits, players then go for the kill shot.
British Dictionary definitions for kill


verb (mainly transitive)
(also intr; when transitive, sometimes foll by off) to cause the death of (a person or animal)
to put an end to; destroy: to kill someone's interest
to make (time) pass quickly, esp while waiting for something
to deaden (sound)
(informal) to tire out; exhaust: the effort killed him
(informal) to cause to suffer pain or discomfort: my shoes are killing me
(informal) to cancel, cut, or delete: to kill three lines of text
(informal) to quash, defeat, or veto: the bill was killed in the House of Lords
(informal) to switch off; stop: to kill a motor
(also intransitive) (informal) to overcome with attraction, laughter, surprise, etc: she was dressed to kill, his gags kill me
(slang) to consume (alcoholic drink) entirely: he killed three bottles of rum
(sport) to hit (a ball) so hard or so accurately that the opponent cannot return it
(soccer) to bring (a moving ball) under control; trap
(informal) kill oneself, to overexert oneself: don't kill yourself
kill two birds with one stone, to achieve two results with one action
the act of causing death, esp at the end of a hunt, bullfight, etc
the animal or animals killed during a hunt
(NZ) the seasonal tally of stock slaughtered at a freezing works
the destruction of a battleship, tank, etc
in at the kill, present at the end or climax of some undertaking
Word Origin
C13 cullen; perhaps related to Old English cwellan to kill; compare German (Westphalian dialect) küllen; see quell


(US) a channel, stream, or river (chiefly as part of place names)
Word Origin
C17: from Middle Dutch kille; compare Old Norse kīll small bay, creek
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for kill

c.1200, "to strike, hit, beat, knock;" c.1300, "to deprive of life," perhaps from an unrecorded variant of Old English cwellan "to kill" (see quell), but the earliest sense suggests otherwise. Sense in to kill time is from 1728. Related: Killed; killing. Kill-devil, colloquial for "rum," especially if new or of bad quality, is from 1630s.


early 13c., "a stroke, a blow," from kill (v.). Meaning "act of killing" is from 1814; that of "a killed animal" is from 1878. Lawn tennis serve sense is from 1903. The kill "the knockout" is boxing jargon, 1950.

"stream," 1630s, American English, from Dutch kil, from Middle Dutch kille "riverbed," especially in place names (e.g. Schuylkill). A common Germanic word, the Old Norse form, kill, meant "bay, gulf" and gave its name to Kiel Fjord on the German Baltic coast and thence to Kiel, the port city founded there in 1240.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for kill


  1. A murder: for the Shannon kill (1930s+)
  2. An enemy airplane, ship, tank, etc, destroyed (WWII armed forces)
  1. To drink or eat up: The lady killed a dozen oysters (1833+)
  2. To spoil or ruin: One bad grade killed his chances for med school (1573+)
  3. To demoralize totally; make hopeless: The third defeat killed him (1940s+)
  4. To be extremely successful with: The Evergreen Review kills him (1899+)
  5. To make an audience helpless with laughter; fracture: My McEnroe act kills 'em (1856+)
  6. To do very easily; ace: I killed the geology final (1900+ Students)
  7. To eliminate a newspaper story or part of it (1865+)
  8. To extinguish a light (1934+)
  9. To stop or turn off a motor (1886+)
Related Terms

in at the kill, killer

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with kill
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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