|This article is about an older version of DF.|
When the message "x has been struck down" appears, some dwarf has received an immediately fatal injury in combat, namely : the brain being damaged, the head being chopped of or the lower/upper body being cut in two. Too much of this message and your fort may experience large amounts of fun.
Since 0.34.01, it is also noticeable that if a dwarf is not seen dying by another dwarf, they will be no announcement of the dwarf dying.
More specific death messages for other scenarios include the following: shot and killed, burned to death, drowned, encased in ice, encased in obsidian, melted, crushed by a drawbridge, fell into a deep chasm, crushed by a cave-in, died after colliding with an obstacle, and (most commonly among nobles,) killed by a spike.