- to be excessively strict about: That publisher is death on sloppily typed manuscripts.
- to be snobbish about or toward.
- to be able to cope with easily and successfully: The third baseman is death on pop flies.
- to kill, especially to murder.
- to repeat too often, to the point of becoming monotonous and boring: That theme has been done to death.
- Fox Hunting. present at the kill.
- present at the climax or conclusion of a situation.
Origin of death
Examples from the Web for death
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
Asia Bibi, as she is known, was arrested and sentenced to death.
The most notorious states are Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, where death is an acceptable legal remedy.
Father Joel Román Salazar died in a car crash in 2013; his death was ruled an accident, but the suspicion of foul play persists.
The death toll, which experts believe has been significantly undercut by secret burials, stands at 7,905.
This was near being the death of us both, as the two critics together would have turned the scale at near five hundred.
It sounded like a hundred painters were fightin' to the death.Scouting with Daniel Boone|Everett T. Tomlinson
If I was to write to my mother,' says he, 'that my wife had left me, I believe it would be the death of her.The Land of Long Ago|Eliza Calvert Hall
The sultan now visits his wife, and tells her of the death of Nuzhat.Filipino Popular Tales|Dean S. Fansler
No one had ever linked the death of Denzil's loved one with that of Almeric Tarboe.Carnac's Folly, Complete|Gilbert Parker
British Dictionary definitions for death
- to death or to the death until deadbleed to death; a fight to the death
- to death excessivelybored to death
- to kill
- to overuse (a joke, etc) so that it no longer has any effect
- present when an animal that is being hunted is caught and killed
- present at the finish or climax
Word Origin for death
Word Origin and History for death
Old English deað "death, dying, cause of death," in plura, "ghosts," from Proto-Germanic *dauthaz (cf. Old Saxon doth, Old Frisian dath, Dutch dood, Old High German tod, German Tod, Old Norse dauði, Danish død, Swedish död, Gothic dauþas "death"), from verbal stem *dheu- (3) "to die" (see die (v.)) + *-thuz suffix indicating "act, process, condition."
I would not that death should take me asleep. I would not have him meerly seise me, and onely declare me to be dead, but win me, and overcome me. When I must shipwrack, I would do it in a sea, where mine impotencie might have some excuse; not in a sullen weedy lake, where I could not have so much as exercise for my swimming. [John Donne, letter to Sir Henry Goodere, Sept. 1608]
Death's-head, a symbol of mortality, is from 1590s. Death row first recorded 1940s. Death knell is attested from 1814; death penalty from 1875; death rate from 1859. Slang be death on "be very good at" is from 1839. Death wish first recorded 1896. The death-watch beetle (1660s) inhabits houses, makes a ticking noise like a watch, and was superstitiously supposed to portend death.
FEW ears have escaped the noise of the death-watch, that is, the little clickling sound heard often in many rooms, somewhat resembling that of a watch; and this is conceived to be of an evil omen or prediction of some person's death: wherein notwithstanding there is nothing of rational presage or just cause of terror unto melancholy and meticulous heads. For this noise is made by a little sheathwinged grey insect, found often in wainscot benches and wood-work in the summer. [Browne, "Vulgar Errors"]
Medicine definitions for death
Science definitions for death
Idioms and Phrases with death
In addition to the idioms beginning with death
- death and taxes, certain as
- death knell
- death of
- death on
- at death's door
- be the death of
- bore to death
- catch cold (one's death)
- fate worse than death
- in at the death
- kiss of death
- look like death (warmed over)
- matter of life and death
- put to death
- scare out of one's wits (to death)
- sign one's own death warrant
- thrill to pieces (to death)
- tickled pink (to death)
- to death
Also see underdead.