• (British) IPA: /ˈmɔːtəl/


  1. Susceptible to death by aging, sickness, injury, or wound; not immortal. [from 14th c.]
  2. Causing death; deadly, fatal, killing, lethal (now only of wounds, injuries etc.). [from 14th c.]
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.11:
      Blyndfold he was; and in his cruell fist / A mortall bow and arrowes keene did hold […].
  3. Punishable by death.
  4. Fatally vulnerable.
    • 1670, John Milton, The History of Britain, […] , London: Printed by J.M. for James Alleſtry, […] , OCLC 78038412 ↗:
      Last of all, against himself he turns his sword, but missing the mortal place, with his poniard finishes the work.
  5. Of or relating to the time of death.
    • 1733, [Alexander Pope], An Essay on Man. […], (please specify ), London: Printed for J[ohn] Wilford, […], OCLC 960856019 ↗:
  6. Affecting as if with power to kill; deathly.
    • The nymph grew pale, and in a mortal fright.
    • mortal enemy
  7. Human; belonging or pertaining to people who are mortal.
    mortal wit or knowledge; mortal power
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 10”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      The voice of God / To mortal ear is dreadful.
    • 2012, Olivia Gates, Immortal, Insatiable, Indomitable, Harlequin (ISBN 9781459220164)
      “It's just...I hesitated to call the police. I wasn't sure you'd appreciate their presence.” He sure wouldn't. Mortal scum he could dispatch. Mortal law enforcement he avoided at all costs […]
  8. Very painful or tedious; wearisome.
    a sermon lasting two mortal hours
  9. (UK, slang) Very drunk; wasted; smashed.
    • 1995, Alan Warner, Morvern Callar, Vintage 2015, p. 13:
      Thats[sic] nothing, says Tequila Sheila, who told how the summer she was housemaid in The Saint Columba she took this guy back to the staff flats while mortal on slammers and crashed out on him before anything could happen.
  10. (religion) Of a sin: involving the penalty of spiritual death, rather than merely venial.
Synonyms Antonyms Translations Translations Noun

mortal (plural mortals)

  1. A human; someone susceptible to death.
    Antonyms: immortal
    Her wisdom was beyond that of a mere mortal.
    • 1596, William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream
      Lord what fools these mortals be!
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter 1, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., […], OCLC 752825175 ↗:
      But then I had the flintlock by me for protection. ¶ There were giants in the days when that gun was made; for surely no modern mortal could have held that mass of metal steady to his shoulder. The linen-press and a chest on the top of it formed, however, a very good gun-carriage; and, thus mounted, aim could be taken out of the window […].
Related terms Translations Adverb

mortal (not comparable)

  1. (colloquial) Mortally; enough to cause death.
    It's mortal cold out there.

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