kill or cure


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kill or cure

Said of something that can only have one of two outcomes: very negative ("kill") or very positive ("cure"). We're all anxiously awaiting the dean's decision on grant money, as it will kill or cure our research.
See also: cure, kill

kill or cure

Either remedy a disease or kill the patient, as in The copy chief did not like her headline for the drug, "Kill or Cure." This expression dates from the mid-1700s, when it was already being used half-jokingly.
See also: cure, kill

kill or cure

(of a remedy for a problem) likely to either work well or fail catastrophically, with no possibility of partial success. British
1998 Richard Gordon Ailments through the Ages Mackenzie complained that the Germans' policy was ‘kill or cure’: if they tried an elaborate laryngectomy, it would turn them from surgeons into assassins.
See also: cure, kill

ˌkill or ˈcure

(British English) extreme action which will either be a complete success or a complete failure: This new chemical will either clean the painting perfectly or it will damage it badly. It’s kill or cure.
See also: cure, kill
References in classic literature ?
Mine does seem to be a rather kill or cure sort of watering," he admitted, scratching his head.