die off

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die off

To become extinct gradually, as of a group of people or animals. That species of birds will die off if we keep destroying their habitat.
See also: die, off
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

die off

[for a living thing] to perish one by one until there are no more. Most of the larger lizards died off eons ago. It would be really bad if all the owls died off. The cucumber blossoms all died off.
See also: die, off
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

die off

Perish one by one, as in A celibate community, the Shakers are dying off. [Late 1600s]
See also: die, off
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.

die off

v.
To become extinct gradually: The dodo died off in the 1600s. Wolves were dying off in the formerly rural area as new subdivisions were built.
See also: die, off
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
"My folks was living in Pike County, in Missouri, where I was born, and they all died off but me and pa and my brother Ike.
Just so it was in Packingtown; the whole district braced itself for the struggle that was an agony, and those whose time was come died off in hordes.
The giant poppies I had planted out in them in April have either died off or remained quite small, and so have the columbines; here and there a delphinium droops unwillingly, and that is all.
But this opinion, which was by no means a popular one at any time, gradually died off; and be the matter how it may, as Gabriel Grub was afflicted with rheumatism to the end of his days, this story has at least one moral, if it teach no better one--and that is, that if a man turn sulky and drink by himself at Christmas time, he may make up his mind to be not a bit the better for it: let the spirits be never so good, or let them be even as many degrees beyond proof, as those which Gabriel Grub saw in the goblin's cavern.'
I wish you would keep to the point." And the conversation died off into a wrangle.
The airy young Barnacle replied that they grew tired, got dead beat, got lamed, got their backs broken, died off, gave it up, went in for other games.
Scientists estimated that the megalodon may have died off about 2.6 million years ago based on fossils discovered of the shark species.
KARACHI -- Veteran athlete, former national broad jump champion and noted organiser Munawwar Randhawa died off heart failure on Tuesday.
This year, for some reason, some of the leaves turned brown and crispy and died off. This has never happened before.
Most species gradually died off. In their wake, a hardy plankton genus with a small, nondescript exoskeleton, called Guembilitria, exploded within the fossil record.
coli 0157:1-17 died off significantly more slowly than either of the indictor bacteria.
Many seedlings grew really well, others died off! In the damaged seedlings we had got fertiliser into the outer leaf sheaths, a mistake to be carefully avoided.
The trio died off Praia do Tonel beach near Sagres on the Algarve on October 22.
However, large species may have died off gradually when people preyed on the mammals' offspring faster than the animals reproduced, says Roberts.
They are investigating a theory that James Meaby and Rupert Saunders, both 36, and Jason Downer, 35, died off the Isle of Wight last week after they yacht was hit by a larger vessel.