American English

Definition of kill verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they kill
    he / she / it kills
    past simple killed
    -ing form killing
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] kill (somebody/something/yourself) to make someone or something die Cancer kills thousands of people every year. Three people were killed in the crash. He tried to kill himself with sleeping pills. I bought a spray to kill the weeds. (informal) My mother will kill me (= be very angry with me) when she finds out. Don't kill yourself trying to get the work done by tomorrow. It can wait. I nearly killed myself carrying that suitcase all the way here. Drunk driving can kill.
  2. 2[transitive] kill something to destroy or spoil something or make it stop to kill a rumor Do you agree that television kills conversation? The defeat last night killed the team's chances of qualifying.
  3. 3[transitive] kill somebody it kills somebody to do something (informal) (usually used in the progressive tenses and not used in the passive) to cause someone pain or suffering My feet are killing me.
  4. 4[transitive] kill somebody to make someone laugh a lot Stop it! You're killing me!
  5. Idioms
    curiosity killed the cat (saying)
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    used to tell someone not to ask questions or try to find out about things that do not concern them
    dressed to kill (informal)
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    wearing the kind of clothes that will make people notice and admire you
    have time on your hands, have time to kill (informal)
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    to have nothing to do or not be busy
    if looks could kill…
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    used to describe the very angry or unpleasant way someone is/was looking at you If looks could kill, she thought, seeing the expression that came over his face when he saw her, she'd be dead on the pavement. I don't know what I've done to upset him, but if looks could kill…
    kill the goose that lays the golden egg/eggs (saying)
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    to destroy something that would make you rich, successful, etc.
    kill time, kill an hour, a couple of hours, etc.
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    to spend time doing something that is not important while you are waiting for something else to happen We killed time playing cards.
    kill two birds with one stone
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    to achieve two things at the same time with one action
    kill somebody/something with kindness
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    to be so kind to someone or something that you in fact harm them
    run down/run out/kill the clock
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    if a sports team tries to run down/out the clock or kill the clock at the end of a game, it stops trying to score and just tries to keep hold of the ball to stop the other team from scoring
    Phrasal Verbskill somebody/somethingoff
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: kill