You’re Killing It Meaning and Usage (With Examples)

In the vibrant lexicon of English slang, the phrase “you’re killing it” stands out as a powerful compliment. It means someone is doing exceptionally well in their endeavours, surpassing expectations with remarkable performance or success.

Often heard in workplaces, on playing fields, and in social settings, “killing it” captures the essence of excelling and dominating a task or challenge. It’s an expression of high praise, signifying that an individual is impressively achieving their goals or tasks at hand.

you're killing it meaning and usage examples

Key Takeaways

  • “You’re killing it” is a compliment indicating extraordinary performance.
  • The phrase is prevalent in various social and professional contexts.
  • Alternatives conveying similar sentiments include “you’re on fire” and “you’re crushing it”.

You’re Killing It: What Does It Mean?

The phrase “You’re killing it” is often heard in contemporary vernacular. It’s a multifaceted expression that can imply different things depending on the context but generally signifies that someone is excelling.

YouTube video

Is ‘killing it’ typically considered a compliment?

The term “killing it” typically refers to a person who has performed exceptionally well in a particular activity or endeavour.

Saying someone is “killing it” complements their success or prowess. It indicates more than just doing well; it involves dominating, excelling, or performing at a level above and beyond.

Pop Culture References

Phrases like “killing it” frequently appear in pop culture, permeating movies, music, and social media. They have origins in sports and entertainment, where standout performances are lauded.

The term has been used in various media to denote someone who displays a particularly impressive talent or competence.

Expressions of Exasperation or Frustration

Conversely, “killing it” can express exasperation or frustration.

It takes on a different meaning.

Here, “killing” describes a negative impact on a situation or a person’s emotions.

For example, if someone says that a person is “killing the vibe,” they mean that the individual is bringing down the mood or atmosphere, often by being negative or buzz-killing.

Similarly, when someone’s words are described as “killing” another person, it implies that what was said has had a damaging or hurtful effect.

This could be because the words are particularly harsh, insensitive, or critical, causing emotional pain or discomfort.

In both of these scenarios, the term “killing” is associated with a negative outcome, which stands in contrast to the positive connotation it has when someone is said to be “killing it” in a performance or activity.

You’re Killing It: Examples of Usage

As you’ve understood by now, “killing it” typically means that he or she is doing an exceptional job.

Typically used in a casual or informal context, this slang expression conveys admiration and support, frequently appearing in scenarios that involve work, performance, sport, and creative endeavours.

The individual is not only meeting expectations but is also excelling and surpassing them.

Let’s look at a few examples of how it’s used.

Positive Reinforcement:

  • She was promoted after six months on the job; her colleagues say she’s killing it.
  • They thought their new strategy might not work, but judging by the results, they’re absolutely killing it.

Complimenting Performance:

  • After his third goal in the match, the fans chanted his name, saying he was killing it on the field.
  • She executed every note perfectly during her violin solo, genuinely killing it in front of the auditorium.

Casual Settings:

  • In a more relaxed setting, like a gaming night, when someone excels, friends might laugh and say, “You’re killing it at this game!”
  • At the pottery class, her intricate design on the vase made others stare in awe, whispering to each other that she was killing it.


  • A joke lands perfectly, and the crowd erupts into laughter — the comedian is killing it.
  • They dressed up for the Halloween party, and their zombie costumes were so convincing; they were definitely killing it with the humour.

What Is The Urban Slang For Killing It?

In urban slang, “slaying it” is often used interchangeably with “killing it” to describe someone doing exceptionally well or performing at a high level.

In this context, the term “slay” has nothing to do with its literal meaning of killing. Instead, it’s a metaphorical expression that conveys the idea of succeeding with impressive flair.

To “slay” in a performance or task means to handle it with such excellence and dominance that it leaves a strong impression on others. It’s often used in relation to fashion, beauty, and performance industries, where standing out and making a strong impact are highly valued.

For instance, if a fashion model walks down the runway in a stunning outfit and owns the stage, you might say they are “slaying it.”

The term has gained popularity through social media and entertainment, especially in communities celebrating bold self-expression and achievement, such as the drag community.

“Slay” can also be a term of encouragement or support, urging someone to give their best performance or dominate their endeavours. Like, “Don’t you worry, you’re going to slay it!”

You’re Killing It: Synonyms

Several other slang expressions convey the same sentiment as “killing it” or “slaying it.”

Here are some examples I have put together for you:

  1. Crushing it – Doing an outstanding job or succeeding in a particularly impressive way. It combines elements of dominance and success into one emphatic statement.
  2. Nailing it – Completing a task with perfection or achieving exactly the desired effect.
  3. Smashing it – Performing exceptionally well, similar to “crushing it.”
  4. On fire – Being in a state where someone is doing extremely well, akin to a winning streak.
  5. Dominating – Excelling in a particular field or activity to the extent of dominating the competition.
  6. Owning it – Taking control and showing great confidence and competence in an activity.
  7. Rocking it – Doing something very well, especially with a sense of style or confidence.
  8. Acing it – Achieving success with a high level of competence, similar to getting an ‘A’ grade, often used in academic or professional contexts.
  9. Kicking ass – Succeeding or performing in a forceful and effective manner.
  10. On a roll – Experiencing a period of success or a series of successes.
  11. On a hot streak – Enjoying a continuous series of successes or a winning run, especially in gambling, sports, or any performance-related activity.
  12. You’ve got this – implies confidence in someone’s abilities.
  13. You’re a natural – when seeking to show affection or camaraderie.
  14. Sensational work – can be seen as a more formal expression of high praise
  15. Great job or Well done – can be utilised for more understated, yet still positive, feedback.
  16. You’re excelling – a fitting way to acknowledge someone’s impressive skills or achievements if you’re looking to sprinkle variety into your compliments.

These slang terms are often used in casual conversation and social media to praise someone’s achievements or to describe one’s own success in a humblebrag manner.

The context in which they’re used can vary, but they all carry a positive connotation of doing something very well.

How To Respond When Someone Says ‘You’re Killing It’?

you're killing it responses

Your response to the “killing it” compliment should convey appreciation and positivity.

The key to responding well is to match the enthusiasm but maintain humility. Tailor the reply to the context and relationship with the person offering the compliment, ensuring communication remains effective and cordial.

Here are a few examples to draw inspiration:

  • Expressing Thanks: A simple “Thank you!” shows gratitude and acknowledges the compliment graciously.
  • Sharing Credit: In team scenarios, replying with “We’re all doing our part!” can be inclusive and spread the recognition.

Maintaining Humility:

  • Understated Response: Sometimes, a modest “Just doing my best” is fitting.
  • Light Humour: A playful “Wouldn’t you like to know, weather boy” can keep the mood upbeat while accepting the compliment.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section addresses common questions about the colloquial phrase “killing it” and its use in everyday language.

What does ‘killing it’ imply when used in informal conversation?

When someone says a person is ‘killing it’ in an informal setting, they are indicating that the person is performing exceptionally well or succeeding at a high level.

Can ‘killing it’ be utilised to describe someone’s performance?

Yes, the phrase ‘killing it’ describes outstanding performance, particularly when success is notable.

In what context might one say someone ‘killed it’ with respect to their actions or achievements?

One might declare someone ‘killed it’ in contexts ranging from professional achievements, such as delivering a successful presentation, to personal triumphs, such as running a personal best time in a marathon.

Share some love?

Aman, at the helm of Weboword as its founder and Word Architect, believes deeply in the ability of words to connect, educate, and inspire. Each word is a key, and with Weboword, he aims to unlock the doors of imagination, understanding, and connection.

Let's keep in touch

Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter