I UK [ˈdedlɪ] / US adjective
Word forms "deadly":
adjective deadly comparative deadlier superlative deadliest
1) able or likely to kill people

This is a potentially deadly disease.

deadly to:

Too many water changes can prove deadly to these delicate fish.

a deadly weapon:

The police charged him with possession of a deadly weapon.

2) [only before noun] complete
deadly silence:

A deadly silence followed her announcement.

a deadly secret:

Don't say anything to anyone – this is meant to be a deadly secret.

in deadly earnest (= completely seriously):

It started as a joke, but soon they were fighting in deadly earnest.

3) informal very boring

Some of our lectures were pretty deadly!

4) always able to achieve the intended result, effect, or purpose

The Australian captain is a deadly goal scorer.

deadly enemy/foe/rival — someone you have always hated or competed with

The two businessmen are reported to be deadly enemies.

II UK [ˈdedlɪ] / US adverb
Word forms "deadly":
comparative deadlier superlative deadliest
deadly dull/boring:

a deadly boring play

deadly serious:

Politics is a deadly serious business.

English dictionary. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • deadly — adj 1 Deadly, mortal, fatal, lethal mean causing or causative of death. Deadly may imply an extremely high degree of probability rather than a certainty of death; the term therefore applies to something with the capacity of or a marked… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • deadly — [ded′lē] adj. deadlier, deadliest [ME dedlich < OE deadlic: see DEAD & LY1] 1. causing death or likely to cause death [a deadly poison] 2. to the death; mortal or implacable [deadly combat, deadly enemies] …   English World dictionary

  • deadly — dead·ly adj dead·li·er, est: likely to cause or capable of causing death; also: dangerous (2) ◇ Deadly and dangerous are sometimes used interchangeably, esp. in connection with weapons or instruments. Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam… …   Law dictionary

  • Deadly — may refer to: Deadly (novel series), a children s book by Morris Gleitzman and Paul Jennings Deadly (TV series), an Australian children s television cartoon series Karla, a 2006 American motion picture originally titled Deadly Alan Deadly… …   Wikipedia

  • deadly — dead ly, a. 1. Capable of causing death; mortal; fatal; destructive; certain or likely to cause death; as, a deadly blow or wound. [1913 Webster] 2. Aiming or willing to destroy; implacable; desperately hostile; flagitious; as, deadly enemies.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • deadly — dead ly, adv. 1. In a manner resembling, or as if produced by, death; deathly. Deadly pale. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. In a manner to occasion death; mortally. [1913 Webster] The groanings of a deadly wounded man. Ezek. xxx. 24. [1913 Webster] 3. In …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • deadly — [adj1] causing end of life baleful, baneful, bloodthirsty, bloody, cannibalistic, carcinogenic, cruel, dangerous, death dealing, deathly, deleterious, destroying, destructive, fatal, grim, harmful, homicidal, injurious, internecine, killing,… …   New thesaurus

  • deadly — ► ADJECTIVE (deadlier, deadliest) 1) causing or able to cause death. 2) (of a voice, glance, etc.) filled with hate. 3) extremely accurate or effective. 4) informal extremely boring. ► ADVERB 1) …   English terms dictionary

  • deadly — O.E. deadlic mortal, subject to death, also causing death; see DEAD (Cf. dead) + LY (Cf. ly) (2). Meaning having the capacity to kill is from late 14c. (O.E. words for this included deaðbærlic, deaðberende) …   Etymology dictionary

  • deadly — [[t]de̱dli[/t]] deadlier, deadliest 1) ADJ GRADED If something is deadly, it is likely or able to cause someone s death, or has already caused someone s death. He was acquitted on charges of assault with a deadly weapon. ...a deadly disease… …   English dictionary

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