at death's door
Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
See also: at Death's door
- (idiomatic) About to die; in a life-threatening state of health.
1828, Walter Scott, chapter 32, in The Fair Maid of Perth:
- The minstrel woman who left the castle yesterday has spread the report everywhere that the Duke of Rothsay is murdered, or at death's door.
1913, Jack London, chapter 32, in John Barleycorn:
- One of my Polynesian sailors lay at death's door with blackwater fever.
- 2008, Josh Quittner, "Bill Gates: PC Genius, Internet Fool," Time, 29 June:
- Clearly, a business with $26 billion in cash reserves isn't exactly at death's door.
- For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:at death's door.
about to die