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 ?
So the sensation dies off for the time; and the unmoved policeman (to whom a little opium, more or less, is nothing), with his shining hat, stiff stock, inflexible great-coat, stout belt and bracelet, and all things fitting, pursues his lounging way with a heavy tread, beating the palms of his white gloves one against the other and stopping now and then at a street-corner to look casually about for anything between a lost child and a murder.
After her death, the colony often dies off since sterile workers can't reproduce.
When the drug thus blocks the receptor on a cancerous cell, estrogen cannot bind and apparently the cell dies off, he says.
Even though the extra fertilized egg later dies off -- and the nonflowering Ephedra's embryo ultimately feeds on its embryo sac cells -- Friedman says this is evidence of how endosperm once formed.