to death

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Prepositional phrase[edit]

to death

  1. (literally) Until death occurs; so as to cause or result in death.
    bleed to death, freeze to death, beat to death
  2. (degree, idiomatic, hyperbolic) To a great degree; to the greatest degree possible, to excess.
    I was bored to death in that meeting.
    • 1915, Eleanor Stackhouse Atkinson, The How and Why Library:
      He had run two miles, through the woods, to see the new baby. There were more wild-cats than babies in the woods of Kentucky. Besides, this baby was his cousin. He said that he was "tickled to death" to have a boy cousin.
    • 1933, Choudhary Rahmat Ali et al., Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever?:
      Are we to be crucified just to save the faces of our leaders or to bolster up the preposterous that India can be a single nation? Is it with a view to achieve a compromise at all costs, or is it to support the illusion that Hindu nationalism is working in the interests of Muslims as well as Hindus? Irony is flattered to death by a mental muddle of such a nature and on such a scale.
    • 1989 December 25, U.S. government Foreign Broadcast Information Service (translator), Transcript of the closed trial of Nicolae and Elena Ceauşescu (translated transcript of trial shown on Romanian and Austrian television),
      So far, they have always claimed that we have built this country, we have paid our debts, but with this they bled the country to death and have hoarded enough money to ensure their escape.
    • 2010 October 27, The Sydney Morning Herald, Howard says leader[s]hip row 'done to death' ,
      "I don't want to revisit his view and my view about whether I should have retired and who said what then," he told ABC Radio.
      "That's been done to death."