be the death of


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be the death of (one)

To be a source of extreme worry, distress, aggravation, or other effects too intense for one to endure. You'll be the death of me! Please call if you're going to be home late, so I don't worry.
See also: death, of
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

be the death of

Cause the death of something or someone, as in This comedian is so funny, he'll be the death of me. Although this phrase can be used literally, meaning "to kill someone or something," it has also been used hyperbolically (as in the example) since the late 1500s. Shakespeare used it in 1 Henry IV (2:1): "Since the price of oats rose, it was the death of him."
See also: death, of
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

be the death of

cause someone's death.
Be the death of is generally used as an exaggerated or humorous way of describing the effects of laughter, embarrassment, boredom, or similar emotions.
1999 Chris Dolan Ascension Day If her mother ever found out that William Grant was in Glasgow, it'd be the death of her.
See also: death, of
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

be the death of

To distress or irritate to an intolerable degree.
See also: death, of
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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