dead on (one's) feet(redirected from dead on his feet)
dead on (one's) feet
1. Near to the point of collapse or losing consciousness (as due to exhaustion or injury) while still remaining on one's feet; just short of being asleep or unconscious. Doctors in training are expected to endure an unbelievable amount of stress and exhaustion. Surely it is counterproductive forcing them to attend to each of their patients while they're dead on their feet.
2. Still functioning, but past the point of usefulness or productivity; All but or as good as defeated. The company has managed to remain open, but, truth be told, it's really been dead on its feet for the last year.
dead on one's feetand dead on its feet
Fig. exhausted; worn out; no longer useful. Ann is so tired. She's really dead on her feet. He can't teach well anymore. He's dead on his feet. This inefficient company is dead on its feet.
dead on one's feet
Also, dead tired. Extremely weary, as in Mom was in the kitchen all day and was dead on her feet, or I'd love to go, but I'm dead tired. The use of dead for "tired to exhaustion" dates from the early 1800s, and dead on one's feet, conjuring up the image of a dead person still standing up, dates from the late 1800s.
dead on your feet
If you are dead on your feet, you are extremely tired. The police were stumbling around, dead on their feet. I'm usually dead on my feet at the end of the game.
dead on your feetextremely tired. informal
This expression was a development from the phrase dead tired , as an exaggerated way of expressing a feeling of exhaustion. Dead is sometimes also used on its own to mean ‘exhausted’.
ˌdead on your ˈfeetextremely tired: She’d just got back from a business trip and was dead on her feet. OPPOSITE: full of beans
dead on one's feet
Extremely tired. This graphic hyperbole, with its use of “dead” in the meaning of “utterly fatigued,” is probably related to dead tired, where “dead” means “very” or “absolutely.” This locution has been traced to Irish speech and appears in such clichés as dead wrong for “completely mistaken,” dead right for “absolutely correct,” dead certain for “totally sure,” and others. “Dead on one’s feet” became common in the mid-twentieth century. John Braine used it in Life at the Top (1962): “Honestly, I’m dead on my feet.”