over my dead body

over my dead body

Meaning | Synonyms

  • in no way, under no circumstances
  • willing to go to extreme lengths to stop something from happening
  • an exaggerated way of saying, "Absolutely not"

Example Sentences

  1. You will go on a date with my sister over my dead body!
  2. I told John that he could shave his head, over my dead body.
  3. You think that I will give you the keys to my car? Over my dead body.
  4. If they go ahead with their plan to cut down those trees, they'll have to do so over my dead body.


The origin of the phrase is not known but it has been used since the 1800s. It is typically said in a joking fashion. It means that you would have to kill the person before they would permit something from happening.

There are sources that claim a more serious origin. For example, "You will become king, over my dead body". Meaning that one person would need to die for another to reach their goal. It was also used by knights when discussing the treasure that they had sworn to protect. The enemy would have to walk over their dead body to reach it. This is not the common usage of it and it is not the way in which it is now used.

The phrase is a hyperbole, meaning that it is exaggerated for effect. It is not supposed to be taken seriously.

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