Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “mortal”


adjective     /ˈmɔː.təl/ US  /ˈmɔːr.t̬əl/ literary
(of living things, especially people ) unable to continue living for ever ; having to die : For all men are mortal. → Compare immortal adjectiveDeath and dying causing death : a mortal injury / illness men engaged in mortal combat (= fighting until one of them dies )figurative New computing technology dealt a mortal blow to the power of the old printing unions . → Compare lethalKillingMurder and attempted murder mortal dread/fear/terror extreme anxiety about or fear of someone or something: We live in mortal dread of further attacks .Fear and phobiasAnxiety and worry - general words mortal enemy, danger, threat, etc. a very serious and dangerous enemy , danger , threat , etc.Dangers and threatsSerious and severeSevere
(Definition of mortal adjective from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of mortal

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Fear & phobias, but you might be interested in these topics from the Psychology, psychiatry, & psychoanalysis topic area:

Definitions of “mortal” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


a skilled and trained cook who works in a hotel or restaurant, especially the most important cook

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More