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kill or cure

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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.

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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.

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