be a fate worse than death

be a fate worse than death

To be a very unpleasant situation or experience. This phrase is usually used hyperbolically, especially when referring to some form of punishment. It will be a fate worse than death if my parents catch me sneaking in after curfew. 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
References in periodicals archive ?
If we are not going to bring back the death penalty for murder then imprisonment for murderers should be a fate worse than death, and should only be released from prison when they come our feet first.
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