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on pain of

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Also, under pain of. Subject to the penalty of a specific punishment. For example, The air traffic controllers knew that going on strike was on pain of losing their jobs. At one time this idiom often invoked death as the penalty, a usage that is largely hyperbolic today, as in We'd better be back on time, under pain of death. [Late 1300s]

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Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

How to use on pain of in a sentence

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