Use the verb "kill" for the the death of someone or something, but there are other ways in which this word is used:

  • Our company is going to kill the project. (They’re going to stop it.)
  • Kill the engine. The car is making a funny noise. (Turn off the ignition on the car.)
  • Night after night, the comedian kills his audience and his popularity grows. (A comedian who makes an audience laugh a lot, "kills" them.)
  • Jill said that her parents are going to kill her for staying out late. (They’re going to be really mad.)
  • My wife is going to kill me for eating the pie she saved for tomorrow night. (She’s going to be mad.)
  • Brad is killing himself by working extra hours this month. (He’s working very hard.)
  • This heat is killing me. (The heat is physically damaging.)
  • My back is killing me. (My back hurts.)
  • You’re going to kill me for saying this, but I think we need to stay in this meeting for at least another hour. (You aren’t going to like this.)
  • This beautiful weather is killing me. (I want to go outside and enjoy it, but I can’t.)
  • What can we do to kill some time? (kill time = use time; spend time, usually before another event.)

As you can see, the word "kill" is very idiomatic!

Click here to go to the Word of the Day page.

This page was first published on February 6, 2012.