between life and death

between life and death

In a precarious or dangerous situation that could result in one's death. That horrific car accident left Kara between life and death.
See also: and, death, life

between life and death

Fig. in a position where living or dying is an even possibility. (Especially with caught or hovering.) And there I was on the operating table, hovering between life and death. The mountain climber hung by his rope, caught between life and death.
See also: and, death, life
References in classic literature ?
Last, and most important of all, I see again, more clearly than I can see anything else, the one wretched bedroom of a squalid village inn in which we found our poor darling, prostrate between life and death, insensible to everything that passed in the narrow little world that lay around his bedside.
The weeks passed; and he still hovered between life and death.
That, if it had been my good fortune to come into the world a STRULDBRUG, as soon as I could discover my own happiness, by understanding the difference between life and death, I would first resolve, by all arts and methods, whatsoever, to procure myself riches.
It was the difference to him between life and death.