death throe

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death throe (plural death throes)

  1. (chiefly plural) The final movements or sounds, often erratic, of a living being as it dies.
    Uncle Roger, in his death throes, made a sound and reached outward.
  2. (figuratively, chiefly plural) The final actions or output of a machine or other object before it ceases to function.
    As part of its death throes, the printer made a grinding sound and then never worked again.