[ drop-ded ]
See synonyms for drop-dead on Thesaurus.com
  1. inspiring awe, astonishment, or envy: a drop-dead guest list; a drop-dead sable coat.

  2. being the most extreme limit or possibility: What's the drop-dead date for handing in term papers? That is our drop-dead offer.

Origin of drop-dead

First recorded in 1965–70

Words Nearby drop-dead

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use drop-dead in a sentence

  • Suppose I drop dead, Susan, will you like to be a bewitching young widow so soon?

    Tessa Wadsworth's Discipline | Jennie M. Drinkwater
  • Then, when he started home again, to take his punishment, the first thing he did was to drop dead.

    The Quality of Mercy | W. D. Howells
  • The idolized only daughter of the Carr family hoped that she would drop dead from mortification, but nothing happened.

    A Girl Of The Limberlost | Gene Stratton Porter
  • It's a very common superstition among English country folk that shrews always drop dead if they attempt to cross a road.

  • And she had a curious feeling that she should drop dead if her mother should clutch her.

    In Wild Rose Time | Amanda M. Douglas

British Dictionary definitions for drop-dead


  1. informal outstandingly or exceptionally: drop-dead gorgeous

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with drop-dead


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.

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