fate worse than death

fate worse than death


  • It means to have to suffer through ordeal that makes a person prefer death over going through it again.
  • It is referred to for misfortunes which makes a person’s life not worth living for.
  • At one point in time, it was a synonym for rape and was referred to for women who went through the terrible act.
  • Now it is used on a lighter note too instead of just gruesome acts and fate.

Example Sentences

  1. Even after she got the surgery done she was in pain for weeks. It was a fate worse than death.
  2. I hope that nobody has to suffer through his lectures, it is a fate worse than death.

The phrase originated in 1781’s literary work by Gibbon which was called ‘Decline and fall of the Roman empire’. It was used in the context of women who were virgins being dishonored to an extent where their fate was made worse than death. The phrase became popular in 1914 in the publication ‘Tarzan of the Apes’ where Jane Porter, the main character of the book was physically thrown by a hairy ape which rendered her a fate worse than death.

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1 Comment

AuthorAnonymous writes on 30th May 2018

Actually the ape was going to forcibly take Jane away as his mate when Tarzan intervened. That was the fate referred to as a thousand times worse than death.

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