at death’s door

at death’s door


  • on the point of dying
  • very ill
  • in serious danger of death
  • very near the end of one’s life (Often an exaggeration)
  • in a life-threatening state of health

Examples Sentence

  1. Most of the survivors of the airplane crash are still at death’s door.
  2. Don’t overstate, it was only flu – you were barely at death’s door.
  3. Jane was so ill that she was at death’s door for three days.
  4. Whenever she had a bad cold she acted as though she were at death’s door.
  5. Owing to coming up of malls and super market every other day in the town the old neighborhood store is at death’s door.
  6. The family cat was at death’s door for three days, and then it finally died.
  7. She literally was at death’s door when a kidney became available for transplant.
  8. Jack lay at death’s door for over a month.
  9. I do not want to lie at death’s door suffering. I hope to pass on quickly.
  10. Poor Jon! He has blood cancer and I fear he’s at death’s door.
  11. The young man was at death’s door after that catastrophic accident.


The association of death with an entry way was first made in English in the late 1300s, and the phrase itself dates from the mid-1500s. Today it is often used as an exaggeration of ill health.

Synonyms of death

  • passing away
  • the state of being dead
  • the permanent ending of vital processes in a cell or tissue.

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The Idioms Dictionary explains common English idioms that are popular worldwide, especially in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, and New Zealand.

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