Topic: DEATH

Explore DEATH Topic

Language: Old English


death S1 W1
a) [uncountable] the end of the life of a person or animal [≠ birth]
death of
The death of his mother came as a tremendous shock.
Cancer is the leading cause of death in women.
How Danielle met her death (=died) will probably never be known.
His friend was close to death.
His family are still mourning John's tragic death.
the anniversary of Lenin's death
bleed/burn/starve etc to death
a homeless man who froze to death
beat/stab/shoot etc somebody to death
The 76-year-old pensioner was beaten to death.
put/sentence/condemn somebody to death (=kill someone or decide they should be killed as an official punishment)
Legend has it that Sarah was put to death for practising witchcraft.
Members of the family have received death threats.
He remained president until his untimely death (=death at a surprisingly young age ).
Two of the passengers managed to escape death (=avoid being killed).
b) [countable] a particular case when someone dies [≠ birth]:
a campaign to reduce the number of traffic deaths
death from
deaths from cancer
I heard there'd been a death in the family.

the death of something

the permanent end of something [≠ birth]:
The latest bombing is the death of all our hopes.
These regulations could spell the death (=lead to the end) of the American car industry.

to death

a) used to emphasize that a feeling or emotion is very strong
be bored/scared/frightened etc to death
She was scared to death of what might happen next.
I'm absolutely sick to death of it (=very angry, bored, or unhappy about something).
bore/scare/love etc somebody to death
He drove at a speed which frightened Leonora to death.
She used to worry me to death.
b) used to say that an action is continued with a lot of effort and for as long as possible:
They just work you to death in that place.

do something to death

informal to perform or present an idea, joke etc so often that people become tired of it:
Most of his material has been done to death by numerous comedians.

to the death

a) until someone is dead:
They will fight to the death rather than give an inch of ground.
soldiers locked in a struggle to the death
b) until you achieve something even if it means that you suffer:
The leadership election has become a fight to the death.


a creature that looks like a human skeleton, used in paintings, stories etc to represent the fact that people die

be at death's door

to be very ill and likely to die

look/feel like death warmed up

British English look/feel like death warmed over American English informal to look or feel very ill or tired

you'll catch your death (of cold)

spoken old-fashioned used to warn someone that they are likely to become ill because they are wet or cold

somebody will be the death of me

spoken old-fashioned used to say that someone is causing you a lot of worry and problems:
That boy will be the death of me!
Black Death

; ➔ kiss of death

at kiss2 (3)

; ➔ life and death

at life (10)