claim a/the/(one's) life

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claim a/the/(one's) life

To result in one's death. This crime spree has already claimed the lives of 10 innocent people—when will the perpetrator be caught? That debilitating illness ultimately claimed her life.
See also: claim, life
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

claim a life

Fig. [for something] to take the life of someone. The killer tornado claimed the lives of six people at the trailer park. The athlete's life was claimed in a skiing accident.
See also: claim, life
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
In the distance he discerned the ragged tortuous lines that marked the winding course of the hideous gorges which scored the broad plain at intervals--the terrible gorges that had so nearly claimed his life in punishment for his temerity in attempting to invade the sanctity of their ancient solitude.