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grim reaper

Fig. death. I think I have a few years to go yet before the grim reaper pays me a call.
See also: grim, reaper

hang/hold on like grim death

  (British & Australian informal)
to hold something very tightly, usually because you are frightened that you will fall Darren always drives the bike and I sit behind him, hanging on like grim death.
See also: death, grim, hang, like, on

the Grim Reaper

Usage notes: Death is sometimes thought of as an old man with a large curved tool for cutting crops.
When the Grim Reaper comes for you, there's no escaping.
See also: grim, reaper
References in classic literature ?
challenged the old man entering grimly into the spirit of the play.
Marilla, looking old and worn and tired, got up and marched Davy grimly out of the kitchen.
But her sister set her mouth grimly and shook her head.
He turned his face to the wall as if resolved to grimly bide his time.
I'll settle Miss Anne when she comes home," said Marilla grimly, as she shaved up kindlings with a carving knife and with more vim than was strictly necessary.
He had left us grimly determined to confess to his father the dark secret of his Presbyterianism, and we were anxious to know what the result had been.
Her lips were set grimly together, and she carried a small suit-case.
The man's lips were threatening to smile, but the scowl above them was still trying to hold them grimly stern.
But with horse and jockey none the worse for the spill, the 12-1 chance grimly held off the challenge of Look Again.
As snuff films and ``bug-chasing'' erotic parties grimly testify, the last rung on the cultural ladder that leads to oblivion is a preoccupation with death - a desperate fascination born of the belief that only a random biological fluke distinguishes a living soul from a corpse.
Sheltered by a mattress, the elderly man hangs grimly on to palm trees in a bid to avoid being dragged into the swirling water.
Tranmere looked to be cruising but had to hang on grimly after David Reeves pulled a goal back in the 78th minute.
SHANE Warne grabbed his first five-wicket haul of the season and then helped Hampshire grimly hang on for a draw against Leicestershire at Grace Road.
But Alloa held on grimly for the point which, with their two games in hand on the leaders, still leaves them a slim chance of title glory.
Like Pact Ballet and the Playhouse Dance Company, Capab is planning budgets and programs for forthcoming seasons, grimly hoping it will have a role in the new artistic order.