From The Multilingual Encyclopedia
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The human skull is used universally as a symbol of death.

Death, the permanent cessation of the vital functions in the bodies of animals and plants, the end of life or act of dying. The word is the English representative of the substantive common to Teutonic languages, as "dead" is of the adjective, and "die" of the verb; the ultimate origin is the pre-Teutonic verbal stem dau-; cf. Ger Tod, Dutch dood, Swed. and Dan. dod. For the scientific aspects of the processes involved in life and its cessation see Biology, Physiology, Pathology, and allied articles; and for the consideration of the prolongation of life see Longevity. Here it is only necessary to deal with the more primitive views of death and with certain legal aspects.