kill off


1 [kil]
verb (used with object)
to deprive of life in any manner; cause the death of; slay. slaughter, massacre, butcher; hang, electrocute, behead, guillotine, strangle, garrote; assassinate.
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.
to deoxidize (steel) before teeming into an ingot mold.
to eliminate springiness from (wire or the like).
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,
to destroy completely; kill, especially successively or indiscriminately: The invaders killed off all the inhabitants of the town.
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.

1175–1225; Middle English cullen, killen to strike, beat, kill, Old English *cyllan; cognate with dialectal German küllen (Westphalian). See quell

killable, adjective
self-killed, adjective
unkilled, adjective

kill, kiln.

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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source Link To kill off
World English Dictionary
kill1 (kɪl)
1.  (also intr; when tr, sometimes foll by off) to cause the death of (a person or animal)
2.  to put an end to; destroy: to kill someone's interest
3.  to make (time) pass quickly, esp while waiting for something
4.  to deaden (sound)
5.  informal to tire out; exhaust: the effort killed him
6.  informal to cause to suffer pain or discomfort: my shoes are killing me
7.  informal to cancel, cut, or delete: to kill three lines of text
8.  informal to quash, defeat, or veto: the bill was killed in the House of Lords
9.  informal to switch off; stop: to kill a motor
10.  informal (also intr) to overcome with attraction, laughter, surprise, etc: she was dressed to kill; his gags kill me
11.  slang to consume (alcoholic drink) entirely: he killed three bottles of rum
12.  sport to hit (a ball) so hard or so accurately that the opponent cannot return it
13.  soccer to bring (a moving ball) under control; trap
14.  informal kill oneself to overexert oneself: don't kill yourself
15.  kill two birds with one stone to achieve two results with one action
16.  the act of causing death, esp at the end of a hunt, bullfight, etc
17.  the animal or animals killed during a hunt
18.  (NZ) the seasonal tally of stock slaughtered at a freezing works
19.  the destruction of a battleship, tank, etc
20.  in at the kill present at the end or climax of some undertaking
[C13 cullen; perhaps related to Old English cwellan to kill; compare German (Westphalian dialect) küllen; see quell]

kill2 (kɪl)
(US) a channel, stream, or river (chiefly as part of place names)
[C17: from Middle Dutch kille; compare Old Norse kīll small bay, creek]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

c.1200, "to strike, hit, beat, knock." Sense of "to deprive of life" first recorded early 14c. Perhaps from an unrecorded variant of O.E. cwellan "to kill" (see quell), but the earliest sense suggests otherwise. The noun meaning "an act of killing (an animal)" is from 1852.
Lawn tennis serve sense is from 1903. The kill "the knockout" is boxing jargon, 1950. Killer in slang sense of "impressive person or thing" first recorded 1937; as an adj., 1979. Killjoy is first recorded 1776; formerly used with other stems (cf. kill-courtesy "boorish person," kill-cow "bully, big man," etc.). Sense in to kill time is from 1728. Killer whale is from 1725. Killing "large profit" is 1888, Amer.Eng. slang. Kill-devil, colloquial for "rum," especially if new or of bad quality, is from 1630s.

"stream," 1639, Amer.Eng., from Du. kil, from M.Du. kille "riverbed," especially in place names (e.g. Schuylkill). A common Gmc. word, the O.N. 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
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

kill off

  1. Render extinct, eliminate completely, as in The plague killed off entire villages and towns. [c. 1600]

  2. Represent as dead, as in This mystery writer kills off a new victim in almost every chapter. [Mid-1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature