Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


I spoke to Philothea just as I used to do; without remembering that she had died.

"I have heard that she remains at the house where Phidias died," rejoined Plato.

I was with him when he died, but knew not the hour he departed, for he sunk to rest like an infant.

That telegram from Coplen is concernin' of a lady—a party that was with him when he died.

I see; there must a lot of them have died here, but their souls didn't go far, did they now?

I am told he comes of a father who died at fifty, and who did in many ways like that.

It died just as the languages of most of our Indian tribes have become a thing of the past.

A few days later his small son, who had remained behind, died.

Therefore as soon as a man had died, his corpse was embalmed.

Every family lived and hunted and worked and died for and by itself.


mid-12c., possibly from Old Danish døja or Old Norse deyja "to die, pass away," both from Proto-Germanic *dawjanan (cf. Old Frisian deja "to kill," Old Saxon doian, Old High German touwen, Gothic diwans "mortal"), from PIE root *dheu- (3) "to pass away, become senseless" (cf. Old Irish dith "end, death," Old Church Slavonic daviti, Russian davit' "to choke, suffer").

It has been speculated that Old English had *diegan, from the same source, but it is not in any of the surviving texts and the preferred words were steorfan (see starve), sweltan (see swelter), wesan dead, also forðgan and other euphemisms.

Languages usually don't borrow words from abroad for central life experiences, but "die" words are an exception, because they are often hidden or changed euphemistically out of superstitious dread. A Dutch euphemism translates as "to give the pipe to Maarten." Regularly spelled dege through 15c., and still pronounced "dee" by some in Lancashire and Scotland. Used figuratively (of sounds, etc.) from 1580s. Related: Died; dies.