Definition of killing in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈkɪlɪŋ/


An act of causing death, especially deliberately: the community was shocked by the brutal killings [mass noun]: years of killing and destruction
More 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.


1Causing death: a killing disease
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.
deadly, lethal, fatal, mortal, death-dealing, causing death, life-threatening, final, destructive, dangerous;
literary deathly
2 informal Exhausting or unbearable: a killing schedule
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!
British informal knackering
unbearable, intolerable, unendurable, not to be borne, more than one can bear, more than flesh and blood can stand, insupportable, impossible;
cruel, heartbreaking, painful, excruciating, agonizing, grievous
2.1 dated Extremely funny.
hilarious, hysterically funny, outrageously funny, too funny for words, uproarious, riotous, comic, comical, chucklesome, amusing, laughable, absurd, ludicrous, outrageous
informal priceless, side-splitting, a scream, a hoot, rib-tickling, killingly funny, screamingly funny


make a killing

informal 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, gain, profit, make money, be successful, be lucky
informal clean up, strike it rich, rake it in, make a/one's pile, make a packet, make a bundle, make a pretty penny
British informal make a bomb
North American informal make big bucks



Pronunciation: /ˈkɪlɪŋli/
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

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: kill|ing

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.