death's door, at/near

at death's door

Extremely ill or very close to death or total destruction. A case of untreated rabies left me suddenly at death's door. There are many parts of the environment that are now at death's door due to the effects of pollution.
See also: door

near death's door

Extremely or fatally ill; very close to death or total destruction. I had been so near death's door from the infection that the doctors were amazed that I pulled through. There are many parts of the environment that are near death's door due to the effects of pollution.
See also: door, near
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

at death's door

very near the end of one's life. (Often an exaggeration.) I was so ill that I was at death's door for three days. The family dog was at death's door for three days, and then it finally died.
See also: door
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

at death's door

On the point of dying, very ill, as in Whenever she had a bad cold she acted as though she were at death's door. The association of death with an entry way was first made in English in the late 1300s, and the phrase itself dates from the mid-1500s. Today it is often used as an exaggeration of ill health.
See also: door
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.

at death's door

If someone is at death's door, they are seriously ill and are likely to die. He has won five golf competitions in three months, a year after being at death's door. Note: You can also say that someone is near death's door. The singer said he was `active and feeling very well' as he responded to reports that he was near death's door. Note: You can say that someone comes back from death's door or is brought back from death's door when they have recovered from a very serious illness. The patient has been brought back from death's door by the radical treatment, say his doctors.
See also: door
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

at death's door

so ill that you may die.
1994 S. P. Somtow Jasmine Nights How stupid of me to trouble her with my petty problems when she's probably at death's door!
See also: door
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

at death’s ˈdoor

(often ironic) so ill that you might die: Come on, get out of bed. You’re not at death’s door yet!
See also: door
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

at death's door

Near to death; gravely ill or injured.
See also: door
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.

death's door, at/near

Moribund, dangerously ill. Presumably this metaphor originated in the idea that death was a state of being one could enter, that is, an afterlife. It was used by Miles Coverdale (an early translator of the Bible) in A Spyrytuall Pearle (1550), “To bring unto death’s door,” and was repeated by Shakespeare and eventually, in more secular context, by later writers. Eric Partridge deemed it a cliché by about 1850.
See also: near
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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