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dead heat a race that ends in a tie between two or more contestants.
dead letter a letter that the post office is unable to deliver or return, usu. because of an incorrect address or the lack of a return address. [2 definitions]
dead-letter office a postal department to which undeliverable or unreturnable letters and parcels are sent to be opened, delivered if an address can be found, or destroyed.
deadlight a strong shutter or cover fastened over the interior of a ship's porthole or cabin window in stormy weather. [3 definitions]
deadline a date or time by which something must be done. [2 definitions]
dead load the fixed or permanent weight of a structure that exerts a uniform, constant pressure on the supports. (Cf. live load.)
deadlock a standstill or stoppage of progress on either side between equally strong or determined adversaries. [2 definitions]
deadly capable of causing death. [6 definitions]
deadly nightshade see belladonna.
deadly sins the seven sins believed to cause spiritual death: pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth.
dead march a slow, solemn piece of music, esp. a march played during a funeral procession.
deadpan showing no emotion; blank and expressionless. [3 definitions]
dead reckoning the calculation of the position of a ship or airplane on the basis of speed, distance, wind speed, and currents, rather than on more accurate astronomical observations.
Dead Sea a large salt lake between Israel and Jordan, and the lowest recorded land elevation on earth, at about 1300 feet below sea level.
Dead Sea Scrolls scrolls dating from about 100 B.C. to 70 A.D. that were found in caves above the Dead Sea, and that contain scriptural and other writings of a Jewish religious community.
dead set against utterly opposed to; strongly against.
dead weight the unrelieved weight of any inert mass, esp. a human or animal body. [3 definitions]
deadwood on a tree, branches or sections of trunk that are dead. [2 definitions]
deaf partly or totally lacking the sense of hearing. [2 definitions]
deafen to cause to become deaf. [2 definitions]
deaf-mute one who can neither hear nor speak. [2 definitions]