deadman

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Related to dead man: Dead Man Walking

dead·man

 (dĕd′măn′)
n. pl. dead·men
1. A rigid plate, beam, or similar object embedded crosswise in a mass of soil or other material to act as an anchor, as for a retaining wall.
2. A prop used as a temporary support for a board or other object.

[dead + man (probably because a deadman is a heavy object that is buried).]

deadman

(ˈdɛdˌmæn)
n, pl -men
1. (Civil Engineering) civil engineering a heavy plate, wall, or block buried in the ground that acts as an anchor for a retaining wall, sheet pile, etc, by a tie connecting the two
2. (Mountaineering) mountaineering a metal plate with a wire loop attached for thrusting into firm snow to serve as a belay point, a smaller version being known as a deadboy
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"For example, then," continued Holgrave: "a dead man, if he happens to have made a will, disposes of wealth no longer his own; or, if he die intestate, it is distributed in accordance with the notions of men much longer dead than he.
more horrible than that Is a curse in a dead man's eye!
'And what if I had been accused of robbing a dead man, Gaffer?'
Then he said: 'Ha, ha, that is certainly my little cousin, who died only a few days ago,' and he beckoned with his finger, and cried: 'Come, little cousin, come.' They placed the coffin on the ground, but he went to it and took the lid off, and a dead man lay therein.
A laugh went up at my appearance,--a laugh that was not lessened or softened by the dead man stretched and grinning on the deck before us; a laugh that was as rough and harsh and frank as the sea itself; that arose out of coarse feelings and blunted sensibilities, from natures that knew neither courtesy nor gentleness.
Returning to the body, he lifted it to his shoulder, and risking all on a quick sally, ran swiftly across the narrow opening which separated the prisoner's tent from that of the dead man. Behind the silken wall he halted and lowered his burden to the ground, and there he remained motionless for several minutes, listening.
"Out with that money or you're a dead man," said the taller of the two Assassins.
A DETECTIVE searching for the murderer of a dead man was accosted by a Clew.
The man with the book was not reading aloud, and no one spoke; all seemed to be waiting for something to occur; the dead man only was without expectation.
The doctor had thrown his handkerchief over the dead man's face.
"Yes, they appear to be searching a wounded or dead man."
he answered, "I am a dead man, that's all, I am a dead man, I can't recover it, I have seen him." "What hast thou seen, Jack?" says one of the soldiers.