a fate worse than death

fate worse than death

A hyperbolic phrase referring to a situation or experience that is very unpleasant. I appreciate Gina inviting me to go with her to the theater, but having to listen to those opera singers would be a fate worse than death.
See also: death, fate, worse

a fate worse than death

If you describe something that could happen as a fate worse than death, you mean that it is extremely unpleasant. They were forced to share the same office space as me — a fate worse than death. Why is it considered a fate worse than death to stay at home and rear children? Note: This expression is often used humorously to show that you do not think that the thing is really very bad.
See also: death, fate, worse

a fate worse than death

a terrible experience, especially that of seduction or rape.
1991 Thomas Hayden The Killing Frost He dominated the conversation, holding the Hackett and Townshend women spellbound as he told of how he had broken up a white-slave ring in Dublin, and how he had rescued an innocent young girl from a fate worse than death.
See also: death, fate, worse

a ˌfate worse than ˈdeath

(often humorous) a terrible experience: Go on a trip with the Trumans? You’re joking. It would be a fate worse than death.
See also: death, fate, worse
References in classic literature ?
Behind her lay a fate worse than death, at the hands of human beings.
With a fate worse than death staring her in the face, and with the knowledge that I should probably die defending her within the hour, I was still happier than I had been for weeks--and all because I had seen again for a few brief minutes the figure of a little heathen maiden.
But Bryan isn't the sort of bloke to simply sit at home worrying about things - instead, he uses all his old skills to hunt down those responsible and, of course, to save his offspring from a fate worse than death.
Try to ignore the little voice in your head saying that becoming Mrs Sam Dingle must be a fate worse than death and concentrate instead on how lovely the bride looks in her lacy head-dress - for all the world like a young Mia Farrow.
BEING sent to the salt mines was a fate worse than death for dissidents in the old Soviet Union - now they're being used to cure kids of asthma.
The top flight of English football appears to be suffering a fate worse than death - total predictability.
British Intelligence places him in the worst school situation ever, isolated in the Alps above Grenoble, where he is threatened by a fate worse than death (well, death after the students in biology class dissect him while he is still alive, without anesthetic).
My story isn't unique; it's representative of the way our society tells us that "disability is a fate worse than death.
This poor girl has suffered a fate worse than death - even losing a second child when she was just 14.
This means baroque attempts to off the Baudelaires - when in doubt, director Brad Silberling (``Casper'') throws in a railroad crossing cliffhanger - and, in Violet's case, a fate worse than death.
Take my advice stick to sandcastles at Portobello and save the nation from a fate worse than death.
Which, if successful, would of course be a fate worse than death.