2. [syn: attainder, civil death]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Death \Death\ (d[e^]th), n. [OE. deth, dea[eth], AS.
de['a][eth]; akin to OS. d[=o][eth], D. dood, G. tod, Icel.
dau[eth]i, Sw. & Dan. d["o]d, Goth. dau[thorn]us; from a verb
meaning to die. See Die, v. i., and cf. Dead.]
1. The cessation of all vital phenomena without capability of
resuscitation, either in animals or plants.
Note: Local death is going on at all times and in all parts
of the living body, in which individual cells and
elements are being cast off and replaced by new; a
process essential to life. General death is of two
kinds; death of the body as a whole (somatic or
systemic death), and death of the tissues. By the
former is implied the absolute cessation of the
functions of the brain, the circulatory and the
respiratory organs; by the latter the entire
disappearance of the vital actions of the ultimate
structural constituents of the body. When death takes
place, the body as a whole dies first, the death of the
tissues sometimes not occurring until after a
considerable interval. --Huxley.
2. Total privation or loss; extinction; cessation; as, the
death of memory.
The death of a language can not be exactly compared
with the death of a plant. --J. Peile.
3. Manner of dying; act or state of passing from life.
A death that I abhor. --Shak.
Let me die the death of the righteous. --Num. xxiii.
4. Cause of loss of life.
Swiftly flies the feathered death. --Dryden.
He caught his death the last county sessions.
5. Personified: The destroyer of life, -- conventionally
represented as a skeleton with a scythe.
Death! great proprietor of all. --Young.
And I looked, and behold a pale horse; and his name
that sat on him was Death. --Rev. vi. 8.
6. Danger of death. "In deaths oft." --2 Cor. xi. 23.
7. Murder; murderous character.
Not to suffer a man of death to live. --Bacon.
8. (Theol.) Loss of spiritual life.
To be carnally minded is death. --Rom. viii.
9. Anything so dreadful as to be like death.
It was death to them to think of entertaining such
And urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto
death. --Judg. xvi.
Note: Death is much used adjectively and as the first part of
a compound, meaning, in general, of or pertaining to
death, causing or presaging death; as, deathbed or
death bed; deathblow or death blow, etc.
Black death. See Black death, in the Vocabulary.
Civil death, the separation of a man from civil society, or
the debarring him from the enjoyment of civil rights, as
by banishment, attainder, abjuration of the realm,
entering a monastery, etc. --Blackstone.
Death adder. (Zool.)
(a) A kind of viper found in South Africa (Acanthophis
tortor); -- so called from the virulence of its
(b) A venomous Australian snake of the family
Elapid[ae], of several species, as the
Hoplocephalus superbus and Acanthopis antarctica.
Death bell, a bell that announces a death.
The death bell thrice was heard to ring. --Mickle.
Death candle, a light like that of a candle, viewed by the
superstitious as presaging death.
Death damp, a cold sweat at the coming on of death.
Death fire, a kind of ignis fatuus supposed to forebode
And round about in reel and rout,
The death fires danced at night. --Coleridge.
Death grapple, a grapple or struggle for life.
Death in life, a condition but little removed from death; a
living death. [Poetic] "Lay lingering out a five years'
death in life." --Tennyson.
Death rate, the relation or ratio of the number of deaths
to the population.
At all ages the death rate is higher in towns than
in rural districts. --Darwin.
Death rattle, a rattling or gurgling in the throat of a
Death's door, the boundary of life; the partition dividing
life from death.
Death stroke, a stroke causing death.
Death throe, the spasm of death.
Death token, the signal of approaching death.
(a) (Law) An order from the proper authority for the
execution of a criminal.
(b) That which puts an end to expectation, hope, or joy.
(a) A fatal wound or injury.
(b) (Naut.) The springing of a fatal leak.
Spiritual death (Scripture), the corruption and perversion
of the soul by sin, with the loss of the favor of God.
The gates of death, the grave.
Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? --Job
The second death, condemnation to eternal separation from
God. --Rev. ii. 11.
To be the death of, to be the cause of death to; to make
die. "It was one who should be the death of both his
Syn: Death, Decease, Demise, Departure, Release.
Usage: Death applies to the termination of every form of
existence, both animal and vegetable; the other words
only to the human race. Decease is the term used in
law for the removal of a human being out of life in
the ordinary course of nature. Demise was formerly
confined to decease of princes, but is now sometimes
used of distinguished men in general; as, the demise
of Mr. Pitt. Departure and release are peculiarly
terms of Christian affection and hope. A violent death
is not usually called a decease. Departure implies a
friendly taking leave of life. Release implies a
deliverance from a life of suffering or sorrow.
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Civil \Civ"il\, a. [L. civilis, fr. civis citizen: cf. F. civil.
1. Pertaining to a city or state, or to a citizen in his
relations to his fellow citizens or to the state; within
the city or state.
2. Subject to government; reduced to order; civilized; not
barbarous; -- said of the community.
England was very rude and barbarous; for it is but
even the other day since England grew civil.
3. Performing the duties of a citizen; obedient to
government; -- said of an individual.
Civil men come nearer the saints of God than others;
they come within a step or two of heaven. --Preston
4. Having the manners of one dwelling in a city, as opposed
to those of savages or rustics; polite; courteous;
Note: "A civil man now is one observant of slight external
courtesies in the mutual intercourse between man and
man; a civil man once was one who fulfilled all the
duties and obligations flowing from his position as a
'civis' and his relations to the other members of that
5. Pertaining to civic life and affairs, in distinction from
military, ecclesiastical, or official state.
6. Relating to rights and remedies sought by action or suit
distinct from criminal proceedings.
Civil action, an action to enforce the rights or redress
the wrongs of an individual, not involving a criminal
Civil architecture, the architecture which is employed in
constructing buildings for the purposes of civil life, in
distinction from military and naval architecture, as
private houses, palaces, churches, etc.
Civil death. (Law.) See under Death.
Civil engineering. See under Engineering.
Civil law. See under Law.
Civil list. See under List.
Civil remedy (Law), that given to a person injured, by
action, as opposed to a criminal prosecution.
Civil service, all service rendered to and paid for by the
state or nation other than that pertaining to naval or
Civil service reform, the substitution of business
principles and methods for the spoils system in the
conduct of the civil service, esp. in the matter of
appointments to office.
Civil state, the whole body of the laity or citizens not
included under the military, maritime, and ecclesiastical
Civil suit. Same as Civil action.
Civil war. See under War.
Civil year. See under Year.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: the legal status of a person who is alive but who has been
deprived of the rights and privileges of a citizen or a
member of society; the legal status of one sentenced to
2: cancellation of civil rights [syn: attainder, civil
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
CIVIL DEATH, persons. The change of the state (q.v.) of a person who is
declared civilly dead by judgment of a competent tribunal. In such case, the
person against whom such sentence is pronounced is considered dead. 2 John.
R. 218. See Gilb. Uses, 150; 2 Bulst. 188; Co. tit. 132; Jenk. Cent. 250; 1
Keble, 398; Prest. on Convey. 140. Vide Death, civil.