kill or cure

Either remedy a disease or kill the patient, as in The copy chief did not like her headline for the drug, “Kill or Cure.” This expression dates from the mid-1700s, when it was already being used half-jokingly.


Nearby words

  1. kilimanjaro,
  2. kilkenny,
  3. kilkenny cats,
  4. kill,
  5. kill off,
  6. kill shot,
  7. kill switch,
  8. kill the fatted calf,
  9. kill the goose that lays the golden eggs,
  10. kill time

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

Examples from the Web for kill or cure

  • Foxglove, for instance, from which digitalis used as a medicine is extracted, is a good example of these kill-or-cure plants.