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dead lift

a direct lifting without any mechanical assistance.
a situation that requires all one's strength or ingenuity.
Origin of dead lift
First recorded in 1545-55 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dead lift
Historical Examples
  • Are not these likely men now, to help out a King, and a Religion, at a dead lift?

  • The dead lift of the discipline of the mind is liable to be a deadening process.

  • No help-giving virtue had gone out from this household in the last year; it had all been a dead lift.

    The Wayfarers Mary Stewart Cutting
  • But the first dead lift of the thing is too much for them; and they haven't enough financial experience.

    Heartbreak House George Bernard Shaw
  • He helps the actors on the stage at a dead lift, and enables them to go forward with spirit and propriety.

    Noah Webster Horace E. Scudder

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