Pronunciation: (deth), [key]
1. the act of dying; the end of life; the total and permanent cessation of all the vital functions of an organism. Cf. brain death.
2. an instance of this: a death in the family; letters published after his death.
3. the state of being dead: to lie still in death.
4. extinction; destruction: It will mean the death of our hopes.
5. manner of dying: a hero's death.
6. (usually cap.) the agent of death personified, usually represented as a man or a skeleton carrying a scythe. Cf. Grim Reaper.
7. Also called spiritual death. loss or absence of spiritual life.
8. Christian Science.the false belief that life comes to an end.
9. bloodshed or murder: Hitler was responsible for the death of millions.
10. a cause or occasion of death: You'll be the death of me yet!
11. Archaic.pestilence; plague. Cf. Black Death.
12. at death's door, in serious danger of death; gravely ill: Two survivors of the crash are still at death's door.
13. be death on, Informal.
a. to be excessively strict about: That publisher is death on sloppily typed manuscripts.
b. to be snobbish about or toward.
c. to be able to cope with easily and successfully: The third baseman is death on pop flies.
14. do to death,
a. to kill, esp. to murder.
b. to repeat too often, to the point of becoming monotonous and boring: That theme has been done to death.
15. in at the death,
a. Fox Hunting.present at the kill.
b. present at the climax or conclusion of a situation.
16. put to death, to kill; execute.
17. to death, to an extreme degree; thoroughly: sick to death of the heat.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.