if (one's) life depended on it

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if (one's) life depended on it

Under any circumstances; no matter what. (Used almost exclusively with a negative statement regarding something that one couldn't or wouldn't do.) No way am I going to karaoke night. I couldn't sing if my life depended on it! No thanks, I wouldn't see that film if my life depended on it.
See also: depend, if, life, on
References in classic literature ?
said Camilla, "for I should not dare to forge or keep up a falsehood if my life depended on it.
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