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[ded-man, -muh n] /ˈdɛdˌmæn, -mən/
noun, plural deadmen
[ded-men, -muh n] /ˈdɛdˌmɛn, -mən/ (Show IPA)
Building Trades. a log, concrete block, etc., buried in the ground as an anchor.
a crutchlike prop temporarily supporting a pole or mast being erected.
  1. an object fixed on shore to hold a mooring line temporarily.
  2. a rope for hauling the boom of a derrick inboard after discharge of a load of cargo.
Also, dead-man's. Machinery, Automotive. of or relating to a control or switch on a powered machine or vehicle that disengages a blade or clutch, applies the brake, shuts off the engine, etc., when the driver or operator ceases to press a pedal, squeeze a throttle, etc.:
deadman throttle; dead-man's control.
Origin of deadman
dead + man1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dead man
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Why, if thy hateful looks could stab, I'd be a dead man forty times.

    Master Skylark John Bennett
  • Prince looked at the dead man and at the opal serpent which he held in his hand.

    The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume
  • On another occasion the noodle again went through the village, and met some people carrying a dead man.

    The Book of Noodles W. A. Clouston
  • He fell on his back exclaiming, "I am a dead man," and did not speak again.

    The Story of the Mormons William Alexander Linn
  • His description of the dead man's religious and political convictions was just.

    Our Casualty And Other Stories James Owen Hannay, AKA George A. Birmingham
British Dictionary definitions for dead man


noun (pl) -men
(civil engineering) a heavy plate, wall, or block buried in the ground that acts as an anchor for a retaining wall, sheet pile, etc, by a tie connecting the two
(mountaineering) a metal plate with a wire loop attached for thrusting into firm snow to serve as a belay point, a smaller version being known as a deadboy
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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Idioms and Phrases with dead man

dead man

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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