on borrowed time, live
Outlive reasonable expectations, as in Our twenty-year-old car is living on borrowed time, or The vet said our dog is living on borrowed time. This expression alludes to time borrowed from death. [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.