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death (n.)

古英语 deaþ “生命的完全停止, 死亡的行为或事实, 死亡的状态; 死亡的原因”, 复数为“鬼魂”, 来自于原日耳曼语 *dauthuz (也是古撒克逊语 doth, 古弗里斯兰语 dath, 荷兰语 dood, 古高德语 tod, 德语 Tod, 古北欧语 dauði, 丹麦语 død, 瑞典语 död, 哥特语 dauus “死亡” 的来源), 来自于动词干 *dau-, 可能来自于PIE词根 *dheu- (3) “死” (见 die (v.) ). 带有原日耳曼语 *-thuz 后缀, 表示“行为, 过程, 条件”.

I would not that death should take me asleep. I would not have him meerly seise me, and onely declare me to be dead, but win me, and overcome me. When I must shipwrack, I would do it in a sea, where mine impotencie might have some excuse; not in a sullen weedy lake, where I could not have so much as exercise for my swimming. [John Donne, letter to Sir Henry Goodere, Sept. 1608]

无生命的事物中, “停止, 结束”, 14世纪末 从12世纪末开始作为“死亡的人格化, 骨架作为死亡的形象”. 作为“一场瘟疫, 一场巨大的死亡”, 14世纪末(指第一次爆发的鼠疫, 比较 Black Death). Death's-head, 是死亡的象征, 是1590年代的. Death's door “濒临死亡” 是1540年代的说法.

作为动词加强语“死, 死地” (如:“死” ). hate (something) to death) 1610年代; 更早的 to dead (14世纪初). 俚语 be death on “擅长” 是1839年的. 要 be the death of “成为死亡的原因或场合” 见于莎士比亚(1596). 词条:“死因或场合” 在莎士比亚(1596年) 中. a fate worse than death 是1810年的, 虽然这个想法很古老.

Death row “专门为被判死刑的人设立的监狱的一部分” 是1912年的. Death knell 是由1814年证明的. death penalty “死刑” 是1844年的 death rate 从1859年开始 Death-throes “在某些情况下伴随着死亡的斗争” 是14世纪的.

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Definitions of death from WordNet
1
death (n.)
the event of dying or departure from life;
her death came as a terrible shock
Synonyms: decease / expiry
death (n.)
the permanent end of all life functions in an organism or part of an organism;
the animal died a painful death
death (n.)
the absence of life or state of being dead;
he seemed more content in death than he had ever been in life
death (n.)
the time when something ends;
it was the death of all his plans
Synonyms: dying / demise
death (n.)
the time at which life ends; continuing until dead;
she stayed until his death
Synonyms: last
death (n.)
a final state;
Synonyms: end / destruction
death (n.)
the act of killing;
he had two deaths on his conscience
2
Death (n.)
the personification of death;
From wordnet.princeton.edu