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1. The act of dying; termination of life.
2. The state of being dead.
3. The cause of dying: Drugs were the death of him.
4. A manner of dying: a heroine's death.
5. often Death A personification of the destroyer of life, usually represented as a skeleton holding a scythe.
a. Bloodshed; murder.
b. Execution.
7. Law Civil death.
8. The termination or extinction of something: the death of imperialism.
at death's door
Near to death; gravely ill or injured.
be the death of
To distress or irritate to an intolerable degree.
death on
Opposed to or strict about: Our boss is death on casual dressing.
put to death
To execute.
to death
To an intolerable degree; extremely: worried to death.
to the death
Until one participant in a fight or struggle has died or been killed.

[Middle English deeth, from Old English dēath; see dheu- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. the permanent end of all functions of life in an organism or some of its cellular components
2. an instance of this: his death ended an era.
3. a murder or killing: he had five deaths on his conscience.
4. termination or destruction: the death of colonialism.
5. a state of affairs or an experience considered as terrible as death: your constant nagging will be the death of me.
6. a cause or source of death
7. (Art Terms) (usually capital) a personification of death, usually a skeleton or an old man holding a scythe
a. to death to the death until dead: bleed to death; a fight to the death.
b. to death excessively: bored to death.
9. (Medicine) at death's door likely to die soon
10. (Medicine) catch one's death catch one's death of cold informal to contract a severe cold
11. do to death
a. to kill
b. to overuse (a joke, etc) so that it no longer has any effect
12. (Hunting) present when an animal that is being hunted is caught and killed
13. present at the finish or climax
14. (Medicine) like death warmed up informal very ill
15. like grim death as if afraid for one's life
16. (Law) put to death to kill deliberately or execute
[Old English dēath; related to Old High German tōd death, Gothic dauthus]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



1. the act of dying; the end of life. Compare brain death.
2. the state of being dead.
3. extinction; destruction.
4. (usu. cap.) the agent of death personified, usu. represented as the Grim Reaper.
5. loss or absence of spiritual life.
6. massacre; mayhem.
7. a cause of death: You'll be the death of me yet!
1. at death's door, in serious danger of dying; gravely ill.
2. do to death, to do so often that boredom or staleness sets in.
3. put to death, to kill; execute.
4. to death, to an intolerable degree: sick to death of working.
[before 900; Middle English deeth, Old English dēath; c. Old High German tōd, akin to die1]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


an obsession with suicide.
the cloth or clothing in which the dead are wrapped for burial or other form of funeral.
a place where the cremated remains of the dead are stored. — cinerary, adj.
a vault where the remains of cremated bodies are kept, usually in one of a number of recesses in a wall.
a place where cremations are done.
1. an inscription on a monument, as on a gravestone.
2. a short piece of prose or verse written in honor of a dead person. — epitaphial, epitaphian, epitaphic, adj.
the deliberate killing of painfully ill or terminally ill people to put them out of their misery. Also called mercy killing.
the science of putting people to death.
1. the state or quality of being on the verge of death.
2. close to extinction or stagnant. — moribund, adj.
an improvised funeral song, composed for the dead and sung by women in modern Greece. — myriologist, n.myriologic, myriological, adj.
the worship of the dead.
1. an announcement of death; obituary.
2. a list of persons who have died within a certain time. Also necrologue. — necrologist, n.
1. the magie practiced by a witch or sorcerer.
2. a form of divination through communication with the dead; the black art. Also nigromancy. — necromancer, necromant, nigromancien, n.necromantie, adj.
an obsession with death or the dead.
an abnormal condition in which a person believes himself dead.
an abnormal, often sexual attraction toward the dead or a dead body. — necrophile, n.
an abnormal fear of death. Also called thanatophobia.
the death or decay of body tissue, the result of loss of blood supply or trauma. — necrotic, adj.
Rare. any learning that pertains to the dead.
a place or receptacle for the bones of the dead. Also called ossuary.
an excessive interest in graves and cemeteries.
resembling death; deathly.
the study of death or the dead. Also thanatism.thanatological, adj.
an obsession with death. See also necromania.
a survey of or meditation upon death.
the Eucharist given to one about to die; last rites or extreme unction. — viatic, viatical, adj.
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.




  1. As death comes on we are like trees growing in the sandy bank of a widening river —Bhartrihari
  2. The body of Benjamin Franklin, Printer, like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out, and stripped of its lettering and gilding, lies here, food for worms —Benjamin Franklin

    Franklin’s epitaph for himself is a fine example of appropriately suiting the comparison to what’s being compared.

  3. (Kill him) dead as a beef —William Faulkner
  4. [Sexual feelings] dead as a burned-out cinder —Ellen Glasgow
  5. Death arrives … sudden as a pasteboard box crushed by a foot —Marge Piercy
  6. Death falling like snow on any head it chooses —Philip Levine
  7. Death fell round me like a rain of steel —Herbert Read

    A simile from one of Read’s many war poems, Meditation of the Waking English Officer.

  8. Death has many times invited me: it was like the salt invisible in the waves —Pablo Neruda
  9. Death lies on her, like an untimely frost —William Shakespeare
  10. Death, like roulette, turning our wish to its will —George Barker
  11. Death lurking up the road like a feral dog abroad in the swirling snow —Marge Piercy
  12. Death, you can never tell where else it will crop up —John Hale
  13. Die alone like a dog in a ditch —Aldous Huxley


  14. Died in beauty, like a rose blown from its parent stem —CD. Sillery
  15. Die like candles in a draft —Sharon Sheehe Stark

    In the short story, The Johnstown Polka, the simile has a literal frame of reference; specifically, a room in an old age home which is overheated because to open the windows would kill the people in it.

  16. Died like flies in a sugar bowl —Rita Mae Brown
  17. (I won’t) drown like a rat in a trap —George Bernard Shaw
  18. Like a swift-fleeting meteor, a fast flaying cloud, a flash of lightning, a break of the wave, man passes from life to his rest in the grave —William Knox
  19. Dying is as natural as living —Thomas Fuller
  20. Dying like flies —Anon

    An even more frequently used variation is to “Drop like flies.”

  21. (I will) encounter darkness as a bride —William Shakespeare
  22. (You couldn’t) expect death to come rushing in like a skivvy because you’d rung the bell —Paul Barker
  23. Feel my death rushing towards me like an express train —John Updike
  24. Felt death near, like a garment she had left hanging in her closet and could not see or find, though she knew it was there —Abraham Rothberg
  25. Go to their graves like flowers or creeping worms —Percy Bysshe Shelley
  26. The intimations of mortality appear so gradually as to be imperceptible, like the first graying in of twilight —Richard Selzer
  27. Like a clock worn out with eating time, the wheels of weary life at last stood still —John Dryden
  28. Like a led victim, to my death I’ll go —John Dryden
  29. Like sheep they are laid in the grave —The Holy Bible/Psalms
  30. (I now) look at death, the way we look at a house we plan to move into —William Bronk
  31. Men fear death, as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other —Francis Bacon
  32. Our fear of death is like our fear that summer will be short, but when we have had our swing of pleasure, our fill of fruit, and our swelter of heat, we say we have had our day —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  33. Passed away, as a dry leaf passes into leaf mold —John Updike
  34. [In old age] the shadow of death … like a sword of Damocles, may descend at any moment —Samuel Butler
  35. She passed away like morning dew —Hartley Coleridge
  36. Talking over the fact of his approaching death as though it were a piece of property for agreeable disposition in the family —Elizabeth Spencer
  37. There are no graves that grow so green as the graves of children —Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

    From a letter of condolence to W. R. Sturtevant, September 17, 1878, in which the simile continues as follows: “Their memory comes back after a time more beautiful than that of those who leave us at any other age.”

    See Also: CHILDREN

  38. We are all kept and fed for death, like a herd of swine to be slain without reason —Palladas
  39. We end our years like a sigh … for it is speedily gone, and we fly away —The Holy Bible/Psalms
  40. Wherever you go, death dogs you like a shadow —Anon, probably dating back to before Christ.
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.



big jump An American cowboy who dies is said to have taken the big jump.

bite the dust To die; to come a cropper; to suffer defeat; to fail. The image created by the phrase is one of death: a warrior or soldier falling from a horse and literally biting the dust. In 1697, Dryden used the phrase in his translation of Virgil’s Aeneid.

So many Valiant Heros bite the Ground.

Western stories popularized the phrase in expressions such as “many a redskin bit the dust that day” (Webster’s Third). It is also said to have gained currency during World War II in R.A.F. circles. Today the phrase is used figuratively in reference to the defeat, disaster, or failure of a person or something closely associated with a person. One who is defeated is said to bite the dust, but rarely is the phrase used seriously in regard to someone’s death.

bless the world with one’s heels To suffer death by hanging. The bless of the expression carries its obsolete meaning ‘to wave or brandish,’ a meaning Dr. Johnson conjectured derived from the action of benediction when the celebrant blesses the congregation with the monstrance. In somewhat similar fashion a hanging man blesses the world with his heels.

buy it To be killed; to die prematurely as a result of a tragedy. Buy it is a witty way of saying “pay for it with one’s life.” The phrase dates from the early 19th century when it was used primarily in military circles.

The wings and fuselage, with fifty-three bullet holes, caused us to realize on our return how near we had been to “buying it.” (W. Noble, With Bristol Fighter Squadron, 1920)

Today this British slang phrase is used in nonmilitary contexts as well.

buy the box To die, or be as good as dead. Many people buy their own coffins in order to spare their families the expense and trauma of the funeral and burial arrangements. The irony of “preparing for death” probably gave rise to this irreverent slang expression, the implication being that once a person “buys the box,” he might as well be dead.

buy the farm To die; to be shot down and killed. The origin of this British slang phrase has been attributed to British pilots who were wont to say that when “it was all over,” they were “going to settle down and buy a farm.” Many pilots were never able to realize this dream because they were shot down and killed. Thus, buy the farm became a euphemism for ‘die’ because of the glaring disparity between the idealized dream cherished by the pilots and the tragic reality of the death they experienced.

cash in one’s chips To die, to pass on or away. Also cash or pass or hand in one’s checks. In use since the 1870s, this expression is a reference to the card game of poker, in which a player turns in his chips or checks to the banker in exchange for cash at the end of the game.

cross the Great Divide To die; to go west; to cross the Styx. Cross over is a euphemistic way of saying ‘to die.’ Cross the Great Divide is a longer, more emphatic, but still euphemistic way of saying the same thing. Here the “Great Divide” is being used figuratively to refer to the illusory line between life and death. At one time, the unsettled area referred to as the “West”—across the Great Divide or Continental Divide —represented the “Great Unknown,” and heading in that direction came to mean risking one’s life.

curtains See TERMINATION.

dance on air To be hanged; also dance on nothing. A person who is hanged may undergo involuntary muscle contractions. These jerky movements resemble dancing of a sort. Similar expressions include dance in the rope and dance the Tyburn jig, the latter in reference to Tyburn, a place for public executions in London, England.

If any of them chanced to be made dance in the rope, they thought him happy to be so freed of the care and trouble [that] attends the miserable indigent. (Sorel’s Comical History of Francion, 1655)

Just as the felon condemned to die …
From his gloomy cell in a vision elopes,
To caper on sunny greens and slopes,
Instead of the dance upon nothing. (Thomas Hood, Kilmansegg, Her Death, 1840)

dead as a doornail Dead, very dead, deader than dead; inoperative with no hope of repair. Many houses formerly had a heavy metal knocker on the front door. A doornail was a large, heavy-headed spike sometimes used as a striker plate against which the knocker was struck to increase its loudness and prevent damage to the door. Since the doornail was continually being struck on the head, it was assumed that nothing could be deader.

Old Marley was as dead as a doornail. (Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, 1843)

As knockers (and doornails) became less common, the word doorknob was often substituted in the expression. Other expressions such as dumb as a doornail and deaf as a doornail imply that someone is extremely stupid or stone deaf, respectively.

debt to nature Death. The implication is that life is a loan and, with or without interest, it must be paid off with death. Pay one’s debt to nature means to die. Both these expressions, common since the Middle Ages, have been used as euphemistic epitaphs on tombstones, particularly those from the early 20th century.

Pay nature’s debt with a cheerful countenance. (Christopher Marlowe, Edward II, approx. 1593)

die for want of lobster sauce See EXCESSIVENESS.

die in harness To die while working or while in the middle of some action, especially while fighting. The allusion may be to a horse who drops dead while still in harness, as a plowhorse working a field. Another possibility is that harness is used in the archaic sense of armor for men or horses, as in the following passage from Shakespeare’s Macbeth:

At least we’ll die with harness on our back. (V,v)

Two similar phrases are to die in the saddle and to die with one’s boots on. The latter dates from the late 19th century and formerly meant to die a violent death, especially by hanging. To die in the saddle brings to mind cavalry or mounted soldiers while to die with one’s boots on conjures up images of foot soldiers, as in the following citation:

They died with their boots on; they hardly ever surrendered. (Listener Magazine, 1959)

die like Roland See HUNGER.

feed the fishes To die by drowning.

food for worms A dead and interred body; a corpse or carcass. The source of this saying is obvious. Another expression of similar zoological origin is food for fishes, referring to one dead from drowning.

He was food for fishes now, poor fellow. (Rider Haggard, Mr. Meson’s Will, 1894)

give up the ghost To die, to expire, to breathe one’s last. Ghost refers to one’s soul or spirit, the essence of life. The expression is Biblical in origin:

But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? (Job 14:10)

go belly up An American slang expression meaning to die and float belly up in the manner of dead fish. It is used figuratively for any failure or nonsuc-cess, just as death is.

go the way of all flesh To die. This expression is of Biblical origin:

And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the Earth. (Joshua 23:14)

The phrase’s evolution to its present form with flesh substituted for the Earth is not fully understood by modern scholars. The expression appeared in The Golden Age by Thomas Hey-wood (1611):

Whether I had better go home by land, or by sea? If I go by land and miscarry, then I go the way of all flesh.

go west To expire, die. This expression, obviously derived from the setting of the sun in the west, may be traced to the ancient Egyptian belief that their dead resided west of the Nile River. In addition, whites who traveled west of the Mississippi during the frontier days were considered fair game for Indians; hence, in the United States “going west” became synonymous with dying. The use of this expression has decreased since its heyday during World War I.

I shall once again be in the company of dear old friends now ‘gone west.’ (E. Corri, Thirty Years as a Boxing Referee, 1915)

have [someone’s] number on it See DESTINY.

join the majority To die; to pass on or away. Also join the great majority, go or pass over to the majority, death joins us to the great majority. Based on the Latin phrase abiit ad plures, this expression and variants have been in use since the early 18th century.

kick the bucket To die. Although several explanations as to the origin of this expression have been advanced, the most plausible states that the phrase came from an old custom of hanging slaughtered pigs by their heels from a beam, or bucket, as it is known in parts of England. In use since 1785, this irreverent synonym for to die is popular in both England and America. Shorter variations include kick, kick off, and kick in.

leap in the dark An action of unknown consequences; a blind venture; death. The last words of Thomas Hobbes, philosopher and translator (1588-1679), are reputed to have been:

Now am I about to take my last voyage—a great leap in the dark.

make a hole in the water To commit suicide by drowning. The hole in this expression refers to a grave. To make a hole in the water, then, is to go to a watery grave intentionally. This slang phrase, rarely heard today, dates from the mid-19th century.

Why I don’t go and make a hole in the water I don’t know. (Charles Dickens, Bleak House, 1853)

make [someone’s] beard See DOMINATION.

necktie party A lynching or hanging; also necktie social, necktie sociable, necktie frolic. This euphemistic and irreverent American slang expression, popularized by western movies, is an extension of the slang necktie ‘hangman’s rope.’

Mr. Jim Clemenston, equine abductor, was on last Thursday morning, at ten sharp, made the victim of a neck-tie sociable. (Harper’s Magazine, November, 1871)

[one’s] number is up A person is about to die—one is done for, one’s time has come. At an earlier date, number referred to one’s lottery number; currently, the full expression refers euphemistically to death.

Fate had dealt him a knock-out blow; his number was up. (P. G. Wodehouse, Girl on Boat, 1922)

This expression was common among American soldiers who may have been the first to use it in speaking of death.

peg out To die; to bite the dust. In cribbage, the game is finished when a player pegs out the last hole. This expression is among the less frequently heard euphemisms for death.

Harrison … was then 67 … and actually pegged out in 1841. (H. L. Mencken, in The New Yorker, October 1, 1949)

push up daisies To be dead and buried in one’s grave; also turn one’s toes up to the daisies and under the daisies. The reference is to the flowers often planted on top of new graves. The expression and variants have been in use since the mid-19th century.

sprout wings See CHARITABLENESS.

step off To die; to be married. The expression’s latter sense, often extended to step off the carpet, refers to the conclusion of the bride’s procession to the altar. The phrase’s former, more common, meaning is an allusion to the last footstep of life.

The old man and I are both due to step off if we’re caught. (Dashiell Hammett, Blood Money, 1927)

take for a ride To murder; to deceive or cheat; to pull someone’s leg. This underworld euphemism for ‘murder’ dates from the early 1900s. Gangsters first abducted their victims, then took them to a secluded area where they were murdered.

The gang believes he is getting yellow-or soft, and usually takes him for a ride…. (Emanuel H. La vine, The Third Degree, 1930)

Take for a ride also means ‘deceive, cheat’ because the driver is in a position to manipulate or trick. The expression is often used of one who leads another on and then fleeces him.

But the one who really took my friend for a ride was the electrician. He used more … cable … than … it takes to build a battle ship. (Roger W. Babson, in a syndicated newspaper column, 1951)

turn one’s face to the wall To die; more precisely, to make the final gesture of acquiescence indicating that one is about to give up the ghost. The origin is Biblical (2 Kings 22:2); when Hezekiah was informed his death was imminent:

He turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord.

The expression appears in works as varied as Narratives of the Days of the Reformation (1579):

He turned his face to the wall in the said belfry; and so after his prayers slept sweetly in the lord.

and Tom’sawyer (1876):

He would turn his face to the wall, and die with that word unsaid. (Mark Twain)

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.death - the event of dying or departure from lifedeath - the event of dying or departure from life; "her death came as a terrible shock"; "upon your decease the capital will pass to your grandchildren"
alteration, change, modification - an event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another; "the change was intended to increase sales"; "this storm is certainly a change for the worse"; "the neighborhood had undergone few modifications since his last visit years ago"
fatality, human death - a death resulting from an accident or a disaster; "a decrease in the number of automobile fatalities"
martyrdom - death that is imposed because of the person's adherence of a religious faith or cause
megadeath - the death of a million people; "they calibrate the effects of atom bombs in megadeaths"
exit, expiration, going, passing, departure, release, loss - euphemistic expressions for death; "thousands mourned his passing"
wrongful death - a death that results from a wrongful act or from negligence; a death that can serve as the basis for a civil action for damages on behalf of the dead person's family or heirs
nascence, nascency, nativity, birth - the event of being born; "they celebrated the birth of their first child"
2.death - the permanent end of all life functions in an organism or part of an organism; "the animal died a painful death"
organic phenomenon - (biology) a natural phenomenon involving living plants and animals
cell death, necrobiosis - (physiology) the normal degeneration and death of living cells (as in various epithelial cells)
gangrene, mortification, sphacelus - the localized death of living cells (as from infection or the interruption of blood supply)
brain death, cerebral death - death when respiration and other reflexes are absent; consciousness is gone; organs can be removed for transplantation before the heartbeat stops
3.death - the absence of life or state of being dead; "he seemed more content in death than he had ever been in life"
state - the way something is with respect to its main attributes; "the current state of knowledge"; "his state of health"; "in a weak financial state"
eternal rest, eternal sleep, quietus, sleep, rest - euphemisms for death (based on an analogy between lying in a bed and in a tomb); "she was laid to rest beside her husband"; "they had to put their family pet to sleep"
defunctness, extinction - no longer in existence; "the extinction of a species"
neonatal death - death of a liveborn infant within the first 28 days of life
cot death, crib death, infant death, SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome - sudden and unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant during sleep
4.death - the time when something endsdeath - the time when something ends; "it was the death of all his plans"; "a dying of old hopes"
lifespan, lifetime, life-time, life - the period during which something is functional (as between birth and death); "the battery had a short life"; "he lived a long and happy life"
grave - death of a person; "he went to his grave without forgiving me"; "from cradle to grave"
end, ending - the point in time at which something ends; "the end of the year"; "the ending of warranty period"
birth - the time when something begins (especially life); "they divorced after the birth of the child"; "his election signaled the birth of a new age"
5.death - the time at which life ends; continuing until dead; "she stayed until his death"; "a struggle to the last"
end, ending - the point in time at which something ends; "the end of the year"; "the ending of warranty period"
6.Death - the personification of death; "Death walked the streets of the plague-bound city"
7.death - a final state; "he came to a bad end"; "the so-called glorious experiment came to an inglorious end"
state - the way something is with respect to its main attributes; "the current state of knowledge"; "his state of health"; "in a weak financial state"
8.death - the act of killing; "he had two deaths on his conscience"
kill, putting to death, killing - the act of terminating a life
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. dying, demise, bereavement, end, passing, release, loss, departure, curtains (informal), cessation, expiration, decease, quietus There had been a death in the family.
dying birth
3. (sometimes capital) the Grim Reaper, the Angel of Death, the Dark Angel Carrying a long scythe is the hooded figure of Death.
at death's door dying, going, sinking, passing, failing, fading, expiring, perishing, ebbing, moribund, in extremis (Latin), at death's door, not long for this world He was at death's door when the disease was finally diagnosed.
death knell doom, death sentence, beginning of the end, death warrant, near end the death knell of the UK motor industry
put someone to death execute, kill, shoot, murder, slaughter, annihilate, exterminate, send to the electric chair, send to the gas chamber The rebels were put to death for treason.
Related words
adjectives fatal, lethal, mortal
like necromania, thanatomania
fear thanatophobia
"Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" Bible: Genesis
"Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee" [John Donne LXXX Sermons]
"To die completely, a person must not only forget but be forgotten, and he who is not forgotten is not dead" [Samuel Butler Notebooks]
"Death, the most dreaded of evils, is therefore of no concern to us; for while we exist death is not present, and when death is present we no longer exist" [Epicurus letter to Menoeceus]
"One dies only once, and it's for such a long time" [Molière Le Dépit Amoureux]
"Anyone can stop a man's life, but no one his death; a thousand doors open on to it" [Seneca Phoenissae]
"Death hath ten thousand doors"
"For men to take their exits" [John Webster The Duchess of Malfi]
"After the first death, there is no other" [Dylan Thomas A refusal to mourn the death, by fire, of a child in London]
"Revenge triumphs over death; love slights it; honour aspireth to it; grief flieth to it" [Francis Bacon Essays]
"Fear death? - to feel the fog in my throat,"
"The mist in my face" [Robert Browning Prospice]
"Death never takes the wise man by surprise; he is always ready to go" [Jean de la Fontaine Fables]
"If there wasn't death, I think you couldn't go on" [Stevie Smith]
"My name is Death: the last best friend am I" [Robert Southey The Curse of Kehama]
"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" Bible: I Corinthians
"Fear of death is worse than death itself" [William Shakespeare King Lear]
"I have been half in love with easeful death" [John Keats Ode to a Nightingale]
"How wonderful is death,"
"Death and his brother sleep!" [Percy Bysshe Shelley Queen Mab]
"Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil" Bible: Psalm 23
"Death be not proud, though some have called thee"
"Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so" [John Donne Holy Sonnets]
"We all labour against our own cure, for death is the cure of all diseases" [Thomas Browne Religio Medici]
"Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other" [Francis Bacon Essays]
"There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval" [George Santayana Soliloquies in England]
"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes" [Benjamin Franklin letter to Jean Baptiste Le Roy]
"Death is the great leveller"
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. The act or fact of dying:
Slang: curtain (used in plural).
2. A termination of life, usually as the result of an accident or a disaster:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
مَوْتحالَة المَوْتسَبَب المَوْت
la mort
Todder Tod
halálnagy arkánum
mirtisant mirties slenksčiomirties liudijimasmirties patalasmirties priežastis
ölümölüm durumuölüm nedeniölü olma hâli
cái chết


A. N
1.muerte f, fallecimiento m
to be in at the death (Hunting) → ver el final de la caza
it will be the death of him (lit) → será su perdición
you'll be the death of me (fig) → vas a acabar conmigo
till death us do parthasta que la muerte nos separe
this is death to our hopesesto acaba con nuestras esperanzas
it was death to the companyarruinó la empresa
death to traitors!¡muerte a los traidores!
a fight to the deathuna lucha a muerte
to fight to the deathluchar a muerte
to catch one's death (of cold)coger un catarro de muerte
to be at death's doorestar a las puertas de la muerte
to hold on like grim deathestar firmemente agarrado (fig) → resistir con la mayor firmeza
to look like death warmed up or > warmed over (US) → estar muy demacrado, estar hecho una pena
to death: to be bored to deathestar muerto de aburrimiento
it frightens me to deathme da un miedo espantoso
to put sb to deathdar muerte a algn
to sentence sb to deathcondenar a algn a muerte
I'm sick to death of itestoy hasta la coronilla de ello
he's working himself to deathtrabaja tanto que va a acabar con su vida
he works his men to deatha sus hombres los mata a trabajar
it worries me to deathme preocupa muchísimo
B. CPD death benefit N (Insurance) → indemnización f por fallecimiento
death blow Ngolpe m mortal
death camp Ncampo m de exterminio
death cell Ncelda f de los condenados a muerte
death certificate Npartida f de defunción
death duties NPL (Brit) → impuesto m de sucesiones
death house N (US) → pabellón m de los condenados a muerte
death knell Ntoque m de difuntos, doble m
it sounded the death knell of the empire (fig) → anunció el fin del imperio, presagió la caída del imperio
death march Nmarcha f fúnebre
death mask Nmascarilla f
death penalty Npena f de muerte
death rate Ntasa f de mortalidad, mortalidad f
death rattle Nestertor m
death ray Nrayo m mortal
death roll Nnúmero m de víctimas, lista f de víctimas
death row N (US) → celdas fpl de los condenados a muerte, corredor m de la muerte
death sentence Npena f de muerte
death squad Nescuadrón m de la muerte
death threat Namenaza f de muerte
death throes NPLagonía fsing
death toll Nnúmero m de víctimas
death warrant Norden f de ejecución
to sign one's own death warrantfirmar su sentencia de muerte
death wish Nganas fpl de morir
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈdɛθ] n
[person, animal] → mort f
after his death → après sa mort
These deaths could have been prevented
BUT On aurait pu éviter de telles tragédies.
There had been a death in the family
BUT Il y avait eu un deuil dans la famille.
to die a horrible death → mourir de façon horrible
to die a lonely death → mourir dans la solitude
to put sb to death (= execute) → mettre qn à mort
to be stabbed to death → mourir poignardé(e)
to be beaten to death → être battu(e) à mort
to scare sb to death → faire mourir qn de peur
to bore sb to death → ennuyer qn à mourir
I was bored to death → Je me suis ennuyé à mourir.
to be at death's door (= close to death) → être à l'article de la mort
to fight to the death → lutter jusqu'à la mort
a fight to the death → une lutte à mort
to be a matter of life and death (= crucial) → être une question de vie ou de mort
to work sb to death (= overwork) → faire travailler qn à mort
to work o.s. to death (= overwork) → se tuer au travail life-and-death situation
(LAW)décès m
(= end) [novel, music] → mort f
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


nTod m; (of plans, hopes etc)Ende nt; death by drowning/hangingTod durch Ertrinken/Erhängen; death to all traitors!Tod allen Verrätern!; in death as in lifeim Tod wie im Leben; to be afraid of deathsich vor dem Tod fürchten; to be burned to deathverbrennen; (at stake) → verbrannt werden; to starve to deathverhungern; to bleed to deathverbluten; to freeze to deatherfrieren; how many deaths were there?wie viele Tote or Todesfälle gab es?; to die a hero’s deathden Heldentod sterben; she died a horrible deathsie starb einen schrecklichen Tod; a fight to the deathein Kampf auf Leben und Tod; to put somebody to deathjdn hinrichten; to do somebody to death (old)jdn umbringen; this type of novel has been done to deathdiese Art von Roman ist schon zu Tode geritten worden; to drink oneself to deathsich zu Tode trinken; to work oneself to deathsich totarbeiten; he works his men to deather schindet seine Leute zu Tode; to be at death’s dooran der Schwelle des Todes stehen; it will be the death of you (inf)das wird dein Tod sein; he will be the death of me (inf: = he’s so funny) → ich lach mich noch einmal tot über ihn (inf); (= he’s annoying)er bringt mich noch ins Grab; to catch one’s death (of cold) (inf)sich (dat)den Tod holen; I am sick to death of all this (inf)das alles hängt mir gründlich zum Halse raus, ich bin das alles gründlich satt or leid; he looked like death warmed up (Brit inf) or over (US inf) → er sah wie der Tod auf Urlaub aus (inf)


death agony
nTodeskampf m
nSterbebett nt; to be on one’s deathauf dem Sterbebett liegen
deathbed scene
nSzene fam Sterbebett
death bell
nTotenglocke f
death benefit
n (Insur) → Versicherungsprämie fim Todesfall
n (lit, fig)Todesstoß m
death camp
nVernichtungslager nt
death cell
n (Brit) → Todeszelle f
death certificate
nSterbeurkunde f, → Totenschein m
death chair
death cup
adj blow, missiletödlich
adjtodesverachtend, todesmutig
death duties
pl (Brit) → Erbschaftssteuern pl
death grant
n (Brit Hist) → Sterbegeld nt
death instinct
n (Psych) → Todestrieb m
death knell
n (fig)Todesstoß m ? knell


death mask
nTotenmaske f
death metal
n (Mus) → Death Metal nt
death penalty
nTodesstrafe f
death rate
nSterbeziffer f
death rattle
nTodesröcheln nt
death ray
nTodesstrahl m
death roll
nVerlust- or Gefallenenliste f
death row
nTodestrakt m
death sentence
nTodesurteil nt
death’s head
n (on flag etc) → Totenkopf m
death’s head moth
nTotenkopf m, → Totenkopfschwärmer m
death squad
nTodeskommando nt
death taxes
pl (US) = death duties
death threat
nMorddrohung f
death throes
pl (lit, fig)Todeskampf m; in his deathim Todeskampf
death toll
nZahl fder (Todes)opfer or Toten
nTodesfalle f
death warrant
nHinrichtungsbefehl m; (fig)Todesurteil nt; to sign one’s own death (fig)sein eigenes Todesurteil unterschreiben or unterzeichnen
nTotenwache f
deathwatch beetle
nTotenuhr f, → Klopfkäfer m
death wish
nTodestrieb m
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[dɛθ] nmorte f (Med, Admin, Law) → decesso; (of plans, hopes) → fine f
to be burnt to death → morire carbonizzato/a
to drink o.s. to death → uccidersi a forza di bere
to sentence sb to death → condannare a morte qn
to put sb to death → mettere a morte qn, giustiziare qn
a fight to the death → un duello all'ultimo sangue
to be at death's door → essere in punto di morte
it will be the death of him → sarà la sua rovina
you'll be the death of me (fam) (fig) → mi farai morire
you look like death warmed up (fam) → sembri un morto che cammina
bored to death (fam) → annoiato/a a morte
I'm sick or tired to death of it (fam) → ne ho fin sopra i capelli
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(deθ) noun
1. the act of dying. There have been several deaths in the town recently; Most people fear death.
2. something which causes one to die. Smoking too much was the death of him.
3. the state of being dead. eyes closed in death.
ˈdeathly adjective, adverb
as if caused by death. a deathly silence; It was deathly quiet.
ˈdeath-bed noun
the bed in which a person dies.
ˈdeath certificate
an official piece of paper signed by a doctor stating the cause of someone's death.
at death's door
on the point of dying.
catch one's death (of cold)
to get a very bad cold. If you go out in that rain without a coat you'll catch your death (of cold).
put to death
to cause to be killed. The criminal was put to death by hanging.
to death
very greatly. I'm sick to death of you.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


مَوْت smrt død Tod θάνατος muerte kuolema mort smrt morte 죽음 dood dødsfall śmierć morte смерть död ความตาย ölüm cái chết 死亡
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


n. muerte, fallecimiento;
apparent ______ aparente;
biological ______ natural;
brain ___pérdida total de función cerebral;
___ certificatecertificado de defunción;
___ instinctinstinto mortal;
___ ratemortalidad;
___ rattleestertor agónico;
fetal ______ del feto;
___ with dignity___ sin tratamiento activo según decisión del paciente.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


n muerte f, (for statistics, etc.) fallecimiento; brain — muerte cerebral; — wish deseo de muerte, deseo inconsciente de morir; — with dignity muerte digna; natural — muerte natural; sudden — muerte súbita
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.