Etymology: Middle English, perhaps from Old English *cyllan; akin to Old English cwellan to kill — more at quell
Date: 14th century
a. to deprive of life ; cause the death of
(1) to slaughter (as a hog) for food
(2) to convert a food animal into (a kind of meat) by slaughtering
a. to put an end to <kill competition> b. defeat, veto <killed the amendment> c. to mark for omission; also delete d. annihilate, destroy <kill an enemy> 3. a. to destroy the vital or essential quality of <killed the pain with drugs> b. to cause to stop <kill the motor> c. to check the flow of current through 4. to make a markedly favorable impression on <she killed the audience> 5. to get through uneventfully <kill time>; also to get through (the time of a penalty) without being scored on <kill a penalty> 6. a. to cause extreme pain to b. to tire almost to the point of collapse 7. to hit (a shot) so hard in various games that a return is impossible 8. to consume (as a drink) totally intransitive verb 1. to deprive one of life 2. to make a markedly favorable impression <was dressed to kill> Synonyms: kill, slay, murder, assassinate, dispatch, execute mean to deprive of life. kill merely states the fact of death caused by an agency in any manner <killed in an accident> <frost killed the plants>. slay is a chiefly literary term implying deliberateness and violence but not necessarily motive <slew thousands of the Philistines>. murder specifically implies stealth and motive and premeditation and therefore full moral responsibility <convicted of murdering a rival>. assassinate applies to deliberate killing openly or secretly often for political motives <terrorists assassinated the Senator>. dispatch stresses quickness and directness in putting to death <dispatched the sentry with one bullet>. execute stresses putting to death as a legal penalty <executed by lethal gas>. II. noun Date: 1814 1. a. an act or instance of killing b. a decisive act that conclusively secures something (as a deal or win) 2. something killed: as a. (1) an animal shot in a hunt (2) animals killed in a hunt, season, or particular period of time b. an enemy unit (as an airplane or ship) destroyed by military action c. a return shot in any of various games (as badminton, handball, or table tennis) that is too hard for an opponent to handle III. noun Usage: often capitalized Etymology: Dutch kil Date: 1669 channel, creek — used chiefly in place names in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.