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kill verb (killed, killing) 1 tr & intr to cause the death of (an animal or person); to put someone to death; to murder; to slaughter; to destroy someone or something. 2 colloq to cause severe pain to someone My feet are killing me. 3 colloq to cause something to fail; to put an end to it how to kill a conversation. 4 to defeat (a parliamentary bill); to veto (a proposal). 5 colloq to cause something to stop; to turn off or switch off (lights, machinery, etc) Kill the engine. 6 colloq to destroy the effect of something The turquoise kills the green. 7 colloq to deaden (pain, noise, etc). 8 to pass (time), especially aimlessly or wastefully, while waiting for some later event killing an hour in the pub before his train left. 9 colloq, especially ironic to exhaust or put a strain on someone Don't kill yourself doing unpaid overtime. 10 colloq to overwhelm someone with admiration, amazement, laughter, etc. 11 football to bring (a loose ball) under control. 12 squash, tennis, etc to play (a shot) so hard that an opponent is unable to return it. noun 1 an act of killing. 2 the prey killed by any creature. 3 game killed. 4 an act of destroying an enemy plane, ship or tank, etc. 5 such an enemy target destroyed. killer noun 1 a a person or creature that kills; b as adj killer bees. 2 a habitual murderer. 3 colloq a gruelling task or activity. 4 Austral & NZ colloq an animal intended for slaughter. be in at the kill colloq to be present at someone's dramatic downfall, or some other kind of confrontation or culmination. kill oneself colloq to be reduced to helpless laughter. It was so funny we were absolutely killing ourselves. kill the fatted calf to prepare an elaborate feast, etc for a homecoming or welcome. kill two birds with one stone to accomplish two things by one action.
ETYMOLOGY: 13c as cullen or killen.
kill someone or something off 1 to destroy completely; to exterminate The frost killed off most of the greenfly. 2 said of an author, scriptwriter, etc: to write in the death of (a character).
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