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kiss of death

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noun
  1. a fatal or destructive relationship or action: The support of the outlawed group was the kiss of death to the candidate.
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Origin of kiss of death

First recorded in 1945–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

clincherknockoutdeathblowend-all

British Dictionary definitions for kiss of death

kiss of death

noun
  1. an act or relationship that has fatal or disastrous consequences
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Word Origin

from Judas' kiss that betrayed Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:44–45)
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

Idioms and Phrases with kiss of death

kiss of death

An action or relationship that is ultimately ruinous. For example, Some regard a royal divorce as a kiss of death to the monarchy. This term alludes to the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot, who kissed him as a way of identifying him to the soldiers who came to arrest him (Matthew 26: 47–49). It dates only from about 1940 but was previously called a Judas kiss.

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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.