at death's door

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Prepositional phrase[edit]

at death's door

  1. (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.



See also[edit]