1. The act or action of causing death, as of a person.
2. A sudden large profit: made a killing on the stock market.
1. Causing or apt to cause death; fatal: a killing shot.
2. Thoroughly exhausting: a killing pace.
3. Informal Hilarious.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.