thanatosis

(redirected from Playing dead)
Also found in: Idioms.

thanatosis

(ˌθænəˈtəʊsɪs)
n
(of an animal) the ability to fake death in order to evade a predator or any other unwelcome intrusion
References in classic literature ?
They invaded the entrance, killing the wounded and searching out the unhurt that, like ourselves, were playing dead.
He survived by playing dead, and later escaped despite his injury.
His wife, Jeanine, explained that her husband saved himself by playing dead, so as not to attract the terrorists' attention again.
A VICTIM of the massacre has revealed how she survived only by playing dead after one of the terrorists shot her husband right in front of her.
He also keeps them amused by playing dead whenever he is cuddled, and having an uncanny knack of always being around when clean washing has just been folded and put in a pile, because that's obviously a clear signal for him to go to sleep on it.
GANGSTER John Gilligan last night revealed he survived his botched assassination attempt by playing dead.
Name: Zoe Age: Five Owners: Bronwen and Philippa Lives: Gateshead Loves cake and cheese and performs tricks including playing dead, barking on command, dancing and high five.
Diets are the spawn of Satan" Actress Emma Thompson "I have played mothers, but seem to have skipped the grandmother roles, and am now playing dead people" Actress Cherie Lunghi, pictured, on her new part in TV's Holby City "The world can decide in a fit of madness to kill itself.
He survived the shotgun attack by playing dead, then kept his two children in his mind as he waited for the emergency services to arrive.
Summary: A ten-year-old in Worcester gave neighbours a fright when she was caught playing dead on Google Street View.
This second book in the Blade series begins shortly after Blade: Playing Dead (Philomel, 2009/VOYA June 2009) ends.
Playing Dead 148pp 2008 ISBN 9780192754844 SCIS 1378953; Closing In 151pp 2008 ISBN 9780192754851 SCIS 1378952; Breaking Free 145pp 2009 ISBN 9780192755582 SCIS 1414596; Running Scared 162pp 2009 ISBN 9780192755599 SCIS 1420103 OUP (Blade 1-4) $14.