Share this entry
killing Syllabification: kill·ing
Pronunciation: /ˈkiliNG/

Definition of killing in English:


An act of causing death, especially deliberately.
Example sentences
  • The village of Murma is in shock over the brutal killings of two young boys by their teacher.
  • The brutal killings, many of which were committed using knives and swords, had begun.
  • Officers at the scene said it was one of the most brutal killings they had ever seen.


Back to top  
1Causing death: [in combination]: weed-killing
More example sentences
  • Most are fighting chickens he breeds for death in the killing pits across the state line in Louisiana.
  • This killing stock transmits death to the branches upon it.
  • Cancer is one of the four big killing diseases in childhood; after leukaemia, tumours of the central nervous system are the most common cancers in childhood.
1.1 informal Exhausting; unbearable: the suspense will be killing
More example sentences
  • Fatigue is the killing weight of expectation; and that burden is another good reason for fearing the worst.
  • DH is the supervisor of the maintenance area and is having problems keeping people, and the killing schedule is a big part of the reason.
  • Sounds like a killing timetable dear - try to take care of yourself in all this!
exhausting, grueling, punishing, taxing, draining, wearing, prostrating, crushing, tiring, fatiguing, debilitating, enervating, arduous, tough, demanding, onerous, strenuous, rigorous
informal murderous


make a killing
Have a great financial success: they’re a safe investment, you can make a killing overnight
More example sentences
  • The companies and financial advisers involved made a killing from selling these policies - until the consequences began to come to light.
  • If a 14-year-old with a Net connection could move markets and make a killing, all that supposed training and experience of financial analysts was an elaborate fiction.
  • In the short term, anybody with a view to making a killing will be disappointed.
make a large profit, make a/one's fortune, make money, rake it in, clean up, cash in, make a pretty penny, make big bucks


Pronunciation: /ˈkiliNGlē/
Example sentences
  • The story gives us one killingly funny observation after another: ‘Parker and his graduate student colleagues liked to theorize about the real world.’
  • It seems a strange role for him, very British in its humour and, on the page at least, killingly unfunny.
  • To my mind, Alan's film is daring, experimental, ballsy - it's something new, for Christ's sake, new! - and killingly funny.

Words that rhyme with killing

deskilling, filling, grilling, Pilling, quilling, Schilling, self-fulfilling, shilling, Trilling, unfulfilling, willing
Definition of killing in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources