Death is the end of life. Whether it’s only an instant or it takes years, death is always permanent, no matter what vampire movies try to tell you.

Death has many meanings and uses, but it always means the end of something. It can be a single moment like the death of a fish eaten by an alligator, a slow process like the death of cassette tapes as compact discs became popular, or an ongoing state like the death of an ancient language. Death isn’t always bad: the death of a human is depressing, but the death of a vegetable is dinner.

Definitions of death

n the permanent end of all life functions in an organism or part of an organism

“the animal died a painful death
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cell death, necrobiosis
(physiology) the normal degeneration and death of living cells (as in various epithelial cells)
gangrene, mortification, necrosis, sphacelus
the localized death of living cells (as from infection or the interruption of blood supply)
brain death, cerebral death
death when respiration and other reflexes are absent; consciousness is gone; organs can be removed for transplantation before the heartbeat stops
apoptosis, caspase-mediated cell death, programmed cell death
a type of cell death in which the cell uses specialized cellular machinery to kill itself; a cell suicide mechanism that enables metazoans to control cell number and eliminate cells that threaten the animal's survival
localized death of muscle cell fibers
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organic phenomenon
(biology) a natural phenomenon involving living plants and animals

n the event of dying or departure from life

“her death came as a terrible shock”
decease, expiry
birth, nascence, nascency, nativity
the event of being born
the death of Jesus by crucifixion
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fatality, human death
a death resulting from an accident or a disaster
death that is imposed because of the person's adherence of a religious faith or cause
the death of a million people
departure, exit, expiration, going, loss, passing, release
euphemistic expressions for death
wrongful death
a death that results from a wrongful act or from negligence; a death that can serve as the basis for a civil action for damages on behalf of the dead person's family or heirs
killing, violent death
an event that causes someone to die
casualty, fatal accident
an accident that causes someone to die
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alteration, change, modification
an event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another

n the absence of life or state of being dead

“he seemed more content in death than he had ever been in life”
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eternal rest, eternal sleep, quietus, rest, sleep
euphemisms for death (based on an analogy between lying in a bed and in a tomb)
defunctness, extinction
no longer in existence
neonatal death
death of a liveborn infant within the first 28 days of life
SIDS, cot death, crib death, infant death, sudden infant death syndrome
sudden and unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant during sleep
Type of:
the way something is with respect to its main attributes

n the time at which life ends; continuing until dead

“she stayed until his death
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end, ending
the point in time at which something ends

n the act of killing

“he had two deaths on his conscience”
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kill, killing, putting to death
the act of terminating a life

n the time when something ends

“it was the death of all his plans”
demise, dying
the time when something begins (especially life)
death of a person
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end, ending
the point in time at which something ends

n a final state

destruction, end
Type of:
the way something is with respect to its main attributes

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