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deep-six

[deep-siks]
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verb (used with object) Slang.
  1. to throw overboard.
  2. to get rid of; abandon; discard.
  3. to reject, negate, or ruin: The team deep-sixed the manager's attempt to call Sunday practice.
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Origin of deep-six

First recorded in 1950–55; v. use of deep six

deep six

noun Slang.
  1. burial or discarding at sea.
  2. complete rejection or ruin.
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Origin of deep six

First recorded in 1940–45
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

junkabdicatedumpunloadscrapshedabandondiscardexterminateremovekilleliminaterepealrenouncecancelrejectditchjettisondrainleave

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British Dictionary definitions for deep-six

deep-six

verb
  1. (tr) US slang to dispose of (something, such as documents) completely; destroy
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Word Origin

C20: from six feet deep, the traditional depth for a grave
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for deep-six

deep six

n.

"place where something is discarded," by 1921 (in phrase give (something) the deep six), originally in motorboating slang, perhaps from earlier underworld noun sense of "the grave" (1929), which is perhaps a reference to the usual grave depth of six feet. But the phrase (in common with mark twain) also figured in the sailing jargon of sounding, for a measure of six fathoms:

As the water deepened under her keel the boyish voice rang out from the chains: "By the mark five--and a quarter less six--by the deep six--and a half seven--by the deep eight--and a quarter eight." ["Learning the Road to Sea," in "Outing" magazine, Feb. 1918]

In general use by 1940s. As a verb from 1953.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

deep-six in Culture

deep-six

To dispose of, discard, or get rid of: “The board of directors deep-sixed the proposal without even reading it.” This phrase is derived from the noun “deep six,” meaning burial at sea and referring to the depth of water necessary for such a burial. The term was later used as slang for a grave (customarily six feet underground) and, by extension, as a verb meaning “to kill.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with deep-six

deep six

1

Also, give or get the deep six. Burial at sea. For example, When the torpedo hit our boat, I was sure we'd get the deep six. This expression alludes to the customary six-foot depth of most graves. [Early 1900s]

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2

Disposal or rejection of something, as in They gave the new plan the deep six. This usage comes from nautical slang of the 1920s for tossing something overboard (to its watery grave; see def. 1). It was transferred to more general kinds of disposal in the 1940s and gave rise to the verb to deep-six, for “toss overboard” or “discard.”

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.