Definition of killer in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkilər/ /ˈkɪlər/

See synonyms for killer

Translate killer into Spanish


  • 1A person or thing that kills.

    ‘police are still searching for the killer’
    • ‘Due to the style of the shooting, police initial suspicions pointed to a contract killing with the killers meeting the dead man at the location where the body was discovered.’
    • ‘Even though he himself has killed many people, he justifies it by reasoning that he only kills killers.’
    • ‘Some of the giant clouds or dust trails might be real killers - bearing viruses with the power to infect and destroy a wide range of species.’
    • ‘Police say they're hunting a killer who beat a 94-year-old woman to death.’
    • ‘German police are hunting a killer responsible for the death of 15 flamingos at Frankfurt Zoo.’
    • ‘She plays DSI Stella Gibson, who is drafted in from London's Met Police to help catch a killer on the loose in Belfast.’
    • ‘Police say the killer escaped over a rear fence at the home, leaving a patch of blood.’
    • ‘In spite of reform in the law they say conviction rates are not encouraging and in most cases the killers escape justice.’
    • ‘The court heard how the car used by the killers was bought in Dublin for 600 euros through an ad last October.’
    • ‘When police arrested him in 1979, they found a knife consistent with the weapon used by the killer.’
    • ‘Faced with life in prison, his only hope is to find the real killer.’
    • ‘Two generations ago, for example, diabetes was a killer.’
    • ‘To us a mosquito bite is an inconvenience, but for families in Africa it can be a killer.’
    • ‘Despite his protestations of innocence, many in jail believed he was the ruthless killer of a defenceless teenager.’
    murderer, slaughterer, destroyer, liquidator, exterminator, terminator, executioner
    cause of death, deadly illness, fatal illness, destroyer, threat to life, menace, plague, scourge, peril
    View synonyms
  • 2informal An extremely difficult or unpleasant thing.

    • ‘that wind's a killer’
    • ‘You won't have the liability, but it's proving it that's the killer.’
    • ‘The real killer was introducing change, or even creating a plan, whilst meeting our other commitments.’
    • ‘This month could be a real killer.’
    • ‘You'll be moving around at uni a lot, and heavy laptops are a killer.’
    • ‘I tell my patients twins are not twice the fun. One is hard enough. Two at a time is a killer for some people.’
    • ‘The bus journey back to London was an absolute killer.’
    • ‘The killer is the cost of fuel. Every time we pull out of here we have to go over a hundred miles.’
    • ‘This year was a total killer. It was devastating not to be playing football.’
    • ‘That walk up the hill at first is an absolute killer!’
    • ‘Week two, however, was just a killer and has me doubting the talent in a lot of areas that I thought were all set.’
    • ‘I'd grab your sunnies as you leave home this morning - sun glare is a killer!’
    • ‘The tough, largely uphill five-mile route was a killer for many of the 150 runners who took part.’
    • ‘Deflation is a killer for anyone with a mortgage.’
    • ‘Cash-flow is a killer for many businesses that might have a fantastic product or service, but can't afford to bring it to market on their upfront costs and keep operations running.’
    • ‘Those 300 squats are a killer but my glutes appreciate them.’
    1. 2.1A formidably impressive person or thing.
      • ‘it's the zoom lens that makes this camera an absolute killer’
      • ‘I found myself getting an absolute killer of a massage that wiped out pretty much all the stress my back and shoulders had received from too much computer time at work.’
      • ‘The novel features a killer of an opening sentence: "The strangest thing about my wife's return from the dead was how other people reacted."’
      • ‘Her Elektra is a killer of a performance: a symphony of rage and hurt.’
      • ‘So even if this song doesn't make it as big as Gangnam Style, it's still a killer of a summer single!’
      • ‘While he has dabbled in a wide spectrum of dance music and hip-hop, his freshest tune out of the oven is called "Machete" and it's a killer.’
      • ‘The pizza here has always been a killer.’
      • ‘The berry mimosa is a KILLER (as in good).’
      • ‘He has beaten his demons and has kicked out a killer of an album.’
    2. 2.2A hilarious joke.
      • ‘Has he proven that he can rock style, presence and power with his raspy flow and long list of one-line killers?’
      • ‘The rabbit punchline was a killer.’
      • ‘Those witty one-liners were killers.’
      • ‘He can take his time getting to the 'gag' bit because the audience know that when it comes it will be a killer of a punchline.’
      funny story, jest, witticism, quip, pleasantry
      View synonyms


  • 1attributive Denoting a person or thing that kills.

    ‘a killer virus’
    • ‘Africanized honey bees - melodramatically labeled "killer bees" - are the result of honey bees brought from Africa to Brazil in the 1950s.’
    • ‘This winged predator from Europe, where it's also known as the "killer fly," has a taste for some of the insects greenhouse keepers find most distasteful.’
    • ‘He sold walking sticks, which became known as 'killer sticks' after a French Quarter buggy driver supposedly used one to beat off a mugger.’
    • ‘This killer disease of young people in dense cities caused coughing and was evidently exacerbated by polluted air, just as it was relieved by the pure air of the mountains.’
    • ‘Sometimes referred to as "killer algae," C. taxifolia flourishes in warm saltwater harbors, bays, and lagoons.’
    • ‘The new technology will give health officials an important tool for controlling the killer virus.’
    • ‘A top US disease expert said this week the killer virus was the world's number one health threat.’
    • ‘This morning, news was breaking about a new 'killer' flu virus which has just appeared in Asia.’
    • ‘The ultimate goal is to raise awareness and money to fund the research that could one day cure this killer disease.’
    • ‘This third-person shooter game takes place in 3 D mazes where killer robots are running loose.’
  • 2informal Extremely difficult or unpleasant.

    • ‘I woke up with a killer hangover’
    • ‘Much of the dialogue has been focused on the killer low milk prices that afflicted farmers from 2001 through the first half of 2003.’
    • ‘Crossing over from pop music stardom to movie stardom is a killer assignment, no matter how big you are as a pop phenomenon.’
    • ‘Can there be a downer side to Mardi Gras other than the inevitable killer hangover the day after?’
    • ‘We developed a soft spot for the place - primarily because its lift cut a good bit of the climb out of the journey from the village, up that killer hill, to the bus stop on the main road.’
    • ‘The consequences of too much holiday cheer are universal: killer headaches, churning stomachs, dry throats, and furry tongues.’
    • ‘August 20: we got our first break from the killer heat, with a ten-degree drop in temperature.’
    • ‘After another killer shift in the kitchen, I come home and listen to this and it makes me laugh.’
    • ‘With killer temperatures and a complete whiteout on area highways, traffic was at a standstill and not one hotel room in the entire city was available.’
    • ‘Fatty foods are the only thing that are going to cure this killer hangover.’
    1. 2.1US Very impressive or effective; excellent.
      • ‘the soundtrack is killer’
      • ‘a killer physique’
      • ‘It's a killer site: you get the sense that it's run by people with boundless enthusiasm and competence.’
      • ‘The plot really is the weakest part of the film, existing solely as a backdrop to pin some killer stunts on.’
      • ‘All you need is a killer pair of heels and a sleek clutch for party perfection!’
      • ‘It may comfort you to know the leggy lady actually has to work just as hard as the rest of us to maintain her killer shape.’
      • ‘I certainly think this is in the running for album of the year, Black John and Peckinpah are absolute killer songs!’
      • ‘Loss of bladder control is a real possibility at points in this hour as he delivers an absolute killer show - probably his finest to hit Edinburgh.’
      • ‘Despite what they might think, a killer tablet requires more than just a killer screen.’
      • ‘The real meat of the song, the truly great part, doesn't hit until 3:35 where a slow, soft instrumental breakdown builds up to a killer crescendo.’
      • ‘There's a killer choice of separates that cover all the key trends for the new season including the leather skirt, cable knit, and boyfriend jacket.’
      • ‘Both dishes were totally killer!’
      • ‘The Grill specializes in delicious, simply prepared fish and salads, big drinks, and killer desserts.’
      • ‘He has a killer smile and very nice eyes.’