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make a killing

Enjoy a large and quick profit, as in They made a killing in real estate. This expression alludes to a hunter's success. [Slang; late 1800s]

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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.