(1) Predatory black-and-white toothed whale with large dorsal fin; common in cold seas
(2) A difficulty that is hard to deal with
"That exam was a real killer"
(3) Someone who causes the death of a person or animal
(4) The causal agent resulting in death
"Heart disease is the biggest killer in the United States"
- That which kills.
- There’s a killer on the loose.
- My cat is a habitual bird killer.
- Carbon monoxide is a silent killer.
- That which causes stress or is extremely difficult, especially that which may cause failure at a task.
- That test was a killer.
- The final hill in the race course was a killer.
- Something that is so far ahead of its competition that it effectively kills off that competition.
- Various means had were used to steer aircraft in the early years but ailerons were the killer.
- A diacritic mark used in Indic scripts to suppress an inherent vowel (e.g., the Hindi viram, the Bengali or Oriya hasanta) or render the entire syllable silent (e.g., the Burmese virama, the Khmer toandakhiat).
- So, for example, an invisible ǎthaq “killer” (virama) (U+1039) is not inserted between initial and medial consonants. — http://mercury.soas.ac.uk/wadict/burmese/SOASMyanmar_keyboard_and_font_user_manual.pdf
- We have previously shown that there is no “virama” sign as a general “killer” in Khmer script, unlike, for example, in Devanagari script. — http://std.dkuug.dk/jtc1/sc2/wg2/docs/n2458.pdf
- The virama U+1039 MYANMAR SIGN VIRAMA also participates in some common constructions where it appears as a visible sign, commonly termed killer. — http://www.myanmarnlp.net.mm/doc/20010714_implementation_draungmaw1.PPT
- In the course of its adaptation to non-Indo-Aryan languages, the Burmese script has acquired some features that distinguish it from other Indic scripts. The killer, or virama, participates in some common constructions that would be clumsy to handle the way they would be in the other Indic scripts, so the control function of the virama is separated from the diacritic function of the killer. The virama, 0F4D is used to form conjunct consonants, while the killer, 0F52, is a simple diacritic and has no effect on character shaping. The killer is also combined with the VOWEL SIGN O (0F4B) to form the low level tone vowel “o.” When used this way, this symbol is known as hyei hto, or “thrust forward.” — http://unicode.org/reports/tr1.html
- For example, although the ‘vowel killer’ diacritic may be called a ‘pulli’ in Tamil, it is still referred to by the Unicode character names as a ‘virama’. — http://www.w3.org/2002/Talks/09-ri-indic/indic-paper.html
- Thai words that have been borrowed from Sanskrit, Pali and English usually try to retain as much of the original spelling as possible; as this will often produce pronunciations that are impossible or misleading, a ‘killer’ symbol is placed above the redundant consonant to indicate that it may be ignored — Thai: An Essential Grammar By David Smyth
- Sometimes the ‘killer’ sign, called kaaran in Thai, cancels out not only the consonant above which it appears, but also the one immediately preceding it. — Thai: An Essential Grammar By David Smyth
For a list of "killers", see Appendix:Killers.