a naked human skull as the emblem of death; the head of the conventional personification of death. I had rather be married to a deaths-head with a bone in his mouth.

(Science: zoology) (Shak) deaths-head moth, a very large European moth (Acherontia atropos), so called from a figure resembling a human skull on the back of the thorax.

Synonym: deaths-head sphinx.

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