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  1. Narkises's Avatar
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    #1

    lethal

    Hi,

    Is "lethal" a synonym for "fatal"? Do "lethal" and "fatal" have the same meaning? I wonder if they are different.

    Thanks.
    Please correct my mistakes if you encounter any.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: lethal

    They are not synonyms. Have you looked up the words in a dictionary?
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

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  3. Narkises's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: lethal

    Yes. And both of them mean "causing death". Right?
    Please explain why they are not synonyms.
    Last edited by Narkises; 18-Jul-2016 at 10:20.
    Please correct my mistakes if you encounter any.

  4. Narkises's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: lethal

    fatal desease
    fatal weapon
    Please correct my mistakes if you encounter any.

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: lethal

    I would say 'a fatal disease' but 'a lethal weapon'.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. Skrej's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: lethal

    The first three dictionaries I looked at list them as synonyms.

    Merriam Webster - Note the discussion lower down the page on the differences between several related synonyms.
    theFreeDictionary.com
    Dictionary.com

    Plus, an online thesaurus lists them as synonyms.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  7. Piscean's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: lethal

    MW has this to say:

    wound>. fatal stresses the inevitability of what has in fact resulted in death or destruction <fatal consequences>.
    lethal applies to something that is bound to cause death or exists for the destruction of life <lethal gas>.

    While there are undoubtedly some contexts in which the words are virtually interchangeable, there are others in which they are not. A gun, as Matthew mentioned, is a lethal weapon, not normally a fatal weapon.

    We should remember that English has very few exact synonyms that are always interchangeable. Lists of synonyms that one can find in a dictionary are in fact near-synonyms.

  8. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: lethal

    Can we call the knife in a dead body the fatal weapon, as it has directly resulted in the death?
    I am not a teacher.

  9. Piscean's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: lethal

    It's not impossible, but 'fatal weapon(s)' is rarely used, as this Ngram shows.

  10. Raymott's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: lethal

    And we don't talk about fatal illnesses as being lethal. So even if they mean the same thing (causing death), they're used in different contexts.

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