a matter of life and death


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a matter of life and death

something that is very important or serious Don't disturb me unless it's matter of life and death.
See also: and, death, life, matter, of

a matter of life and/or death

a serious situation where people could die (not used with the ) The results of the peace negotiations could be a matter of life or death for people in the war zone.
See also: and, death, life, matter, of
References in classic literature ?
The thing seemed clear enough; it was a matter of life and death.
Although she would infinitely have preferred a personal interview with Noel Vanstone, there was no choice on a matter of life and death but to save the precious hours by writing to him.
I bethought me of your flimsy things,” cried Natty, throwing loose the folds of a covering buckskin that he carried on his arm, and wrapping her form in it, in such a manner as to envelop her whole person; “ now follow, for it’s a matter of life and death to us all.
My lord, it is a matter of life and death," said the priest.
He brings in his psychology, too; one has to consider him, too, for it's a matter of life and death.