Origin of drop-dead
- liquid medicine given in a dose or form of globules from a medicine dropper.
- a solution for dilating the pupils of the eyes, administered to the eyes in globules by a medicine dropper.
verb (used without object), dropped or dropt, drop·ping.
verb (used with object), dropped or dropt, drop·ping.
- to throw, shoot, hit, kick, or roll (a ball, puck, etc.) through or into a basket, hole, or other goal: He dropped the ball through the basket for two points.
- to lose (a game or contest): They dropped two games in a row and were eliminated from the tournament.
- to drop-kick (a ball).
- to score with a drop kick.
- to fall asleep.
- to decrease; decline: Sales have dropped off drastically.
- to withdraw from being a member or participant: to drop out of a club; to drop out of society and become a wanderer.
- to stop attending school or college.
Origin of drop
verb drops, dropping or dropped
Word Origin for drop
Old English dropa "a drop of liquid," from Proto-Germanic *drupon (cf. Old Saxon dropo, Old Norse dropi, Dutch drop, Old High German tropfo, German Tropfen (n.)), from PIE *dhreu-.
Meaning "an act of dropping" is from 1630s; of immaterial things (prices, temperatures, etc.) from mid-19c. Meaning "lozenge, hard candy" is 1723. Meaning "secret place where things can be left illicitly and picked up later" is from 1931.
Drop in the bucket (late 14c.) is from Isa. ix:15 [KJV]. At the drop of a hat "suddenly" is from 1854; drop-in "casual visit" is 1819; drop-kick is 1857. To get the drop on someone originally was Old West gunslinger slang (1869).
Old English dropian "to fall in drops" (see drop (n.)). Meaning "to fall vertically" is late 14c. Transitive sense "allow to fall" is mid-14c. Related: Dropped; dropping. Exclamation drop dead is from 1934; as an adjective meaning "stunning, excellent" it is first recorded 1970.
An expression of anger, rejection, or indignation toward someone. For example, I should do all that work for you? Drop dead! This rude imperative is usually hyperbolic, that is, the speaker is not literally asking someone to die on the spot. [c. 1930] Curiously, the adjective (and adverb) drop-dead is not at all insulting. Rather, it means “dazzling” or “awe-inspiring,” as in She wore a drop-dead outfit that all the other women admired. This usage originated in slangy journalism in the 1960s.
In addition to the idioms beginning with drop
- drop a bombshell
- drop a brick
- drop a dime
- drop a line
- drop back
- drop behind
- drop by
- drop dead
- drop in one's tracks
- drop in someone's lap
- drop in the bucket
- drop like a hot potato
- drop like flies
- drop names
- drop off
- drop out
- drop the ball
- at the drop of a hat
- bottom drops out of
- get the drop on
- hear a pin drop
- let drop
- wait for the other shoe to drop