What is the difference between deceased and dead?

deceased | dead | Synonyms |

Dead is a synonym of deceased.

Deceased is a synonym of dead.

As adjectives the difference between deceased and dead

is that deceased is no longer alive while dead is (not comparable) no longer living.

As nouns the difference between deceased and dead

is that deceased is a dead person while dead is (in the singular) time when coldness, darkness, or stillness is most intense.

As a adverb dead is

exactly right.

As a verb dead is

(archaic) formerly, "be dead" was used instead of "have died" as the perfect tense of "die".

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?




  • No longer alive
  • * That parrot is definitely deceased , and when I purchased it not ’alf an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein’ tired and shagged out following a prolonged squawk. Monty Python
  • Belonging to the dead.
  • * The executor’s commission for winding up the deceased estate was 3.5%.
  • (legal): One who has died. In property law', the alternate term decedent is generally used. In ' criminal law , “the deceased” refers to the victim of a homicide.
  • Synonyms

    * (no longer alive) asleep, at peace, at rest, dead, departed, late, gone

    Usage notes

    * Not to be confused with diseased (affected with or suffering from disease)


  • A dead person
  • * The deceased was interred in his local churchyard.
  • (plural deceased ) dead people
  • * A memorial to the deceased of two World Wars.
  • (legal): One who has died. In property law', the alternate term decedent is generally used. In ' criminal law , “the deceased” refers to the victim of a homicide.
  • Synonyms

    * (dead person) dead person, dead soul, deceased person, decedent, departed, late * dead people, dead souls, deceased people, decedents, departed

    Usage notes

    Deceased'' is commonly used in legal and journalistic settings. ''Departed is most commonly used in religious settings.




  • (not comparable) No longer living.
  • All of my grandparents are dead .
  • (hyperbole) Figuratively, not alive; lacking life
  • * 1600 , (William Shakespeare), (As You Like It) , Act III, Scene 3:
  • When a man's verses cannot be understood, nor a man's good wit seconded with the forward child, understanding, it strikes a man more dead than a great reckoning in a little room.
  • (of another person) So hated that they are absolutely ignored.
  • He is dead to me.
  • Without emotion.
  • She stood with dead face and limp arms, unresponsive to my plea.
  • Stationary; static.
  • the dead''' load on the floor''; ''a '''dead lift .
  • Without interest to one of the senses; dull; flat.
  • dead''' air''; ''a '''dead glass of soda .
  • Unproductive.
  • dead''' time''; '''''dead fields ; also in compounds.
  • Completely inactive; without power; without a signal.
  • OK, the circuit's dead . Go ahead and cut the wire.
    Now that the motor's dead you can reach in and extract the spark plugs.
  • (not comparable) Broken or inoperable.
  • That monitor is dead ; don’t bother hooking it up.
  • (not comparable) No longer used or required.
  • There are several dead laws still on the books regulating where horses may be hitched.
    Is this beer glass dead ?
  • (not comparable, sports) Not in play.
  • Once the ball crosses the foul line, it's dead .
  • Tagged out.
  • (not comparable) Full and complete.
  • dead''' stop''; '''''dead''' sleep''; '''''dead''' giveaway''; '''''dead silence
  • (not comparable) Exact.
  • dead''' center''; '''''dead''' aim''; ''a '''dead''' eye''; ''a '''dead level
  • Experiencing pins and needles (paresthesia).
  • After sitting on my hands for a while, my arms became dead .
  • (informal) (Certain to be) in big trouble.
  • "You come back here this instant! Oh, when I get my hands on you, you're dead , mister!"
  • Constructed so as not to transmit sound; soundless.
  • a dead floor
  • (obsolete) Bringing death; deadly.
  • (Shakespeare)
  • (legal) Cut off from the rights of a citizen; deprived of the power of enjoying the rights of property.
  • A person who is banished or who becomes a monk is civilly dead .
  • (engineering) Not imparting motion or power.
  • the dead spindle of a lathe


    * See also


    * alive * living


  • (lb) Exactly right.
  • dead''' right''; '''''dead''' level''; '''''dead''' flat''; '''''dead''' straight''; '''''dead left
    He hit the target dead in the centre.
  • (lb) Very, absolutely, extremely, suddenly.
  • dead''' wrong''; '''''dead''' set''; '''''dead''' serious''; '''''dead''' drunk''; '''''dead''' broke''; '''''dead''' earnest''; '''''dead''' certain''; '''''dead''' slow''; '''''dead''' sure''; '''''dead''' simple''; '''''dead''' honest''; '''''dead''' accurate''; '''''dead''' easy''; '''''dead''' scared''; '''''dead''' solid''; '''''dead''' black''; '''''dead''' white''; '''''dead empty ;
  • As if dead.
  • dead''' tired''; '''''dead''' quiet''; '''''dead''' asleep''; '''''dead''' pale''; '''''dead''' cold''; '''''dead still
  • * (and other bibliographic particulars) (Charles Dickens)
  • I was tired of reading, and dead sleepy.


  • (in the singular) Time when coldness, darkness, or stillness is most intense.
  • The dead''' of night.'' ''The '''dead of winter.
  • (in the plural) Those who have died.
  • Have respect for the dead .


    * (those who have died) the deceased


    (en verb)
  • (archaic) Formerly, "be dead" was used instead of "have died" as the perfect tense of "die".
  • "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead [????????] in vain." Galatians 2:21, King James Version (1611).
  • To prevent by disabling; stop.
  • * 1826 , The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Edward Reynolds, Lord Bishop of Norwich , collected by Edward Reynolds, Benedict Riveley, and Alexander Chalmers. pp. 227. London: B. Holdsworth.
  • “What a man should do, when finds his natural impotency dead him in spiritual works”
  • To make dead; to deaden; to deprive of life, force, or vigour.
  • * Chapman
  • Heaven's stern decree, / With many an ill, hath numbed and deaded me.
  • (UK, transitive, slang) To kill.
  • * 2006 , Leighanne Boyd, Once Upon A Time In The Bricks (page 178)
  • This dude at the club was trying to kill us so I deaded him, and then I had to collect from Spice.
  • * 2008 , Marvlous Harrison, The Coalition (page 106)
  • “What, you was just gonna dead him because if that's the case then why the fuck we getting the money?” Sha asked annoyed.

    Derived terms

    * better dead than red * brain dead/brain-dead * clinically dead * dead air * dead as a dodo * dead as a doorknob * dead as a doornail * dead ball * dead bat * deadbeat * dead body * dead-born/deadborn * dead cat bounce * dead center * dead code * dead donkey * dead duck * dead end * dead giveaway * deadhead * dead heat * dead horse * dead ice * dead-in-shell * dead in the water * dead language * dead last * dead leg * dead letter * deadline/dead line * dead link * deadlock * dead man/dead man's hand * dead march * dead marine * dead meat * dead men * dead metaphor * deadnettle * dead on * dead or alive * deadpan * dead president * dead reckoning * dead rubber * Dead Sea * dead serious * dead set against * dead soldier * dead space * dead sticking * dead to the world * dead tree * dead water * dead weight * deadwood * dead zone * drop dead * * leave for dead * living dead * not be caught dead * over my dead body * play dead * stop dead