The Hebrew word that is used here is Muwth (04191). The word is used over eight hundred times in the Old Testament and its meaning almost always has to do with death in some form.
It is also interesting and significant to note in the passage that Adam does not ask for clarification about the meaning of the penalty.
Some interpret this to indicate that Adam was “preprogrammed” at his creation with language and knowledge of the word. However, the most plausible explanation is that Adam had real knowledge through observation of animals while he had the gargantuan task of naming them.
Next Week: The Enemy