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1. verb To die suddenly. Brett always seemed so healthy—I'm shocked that he dropped dead at age 55.
2. rude slang An expression of dismissal and contempt for someone. I'm not cleaning up your mess! Drop dead!
3. adjective Spectacularly or sensationally striking, impressive, or awe-inspiring. Used before a noun. In this usage, if is often hyphenated. To flaunt his success, he always shows up in a flashy car with a drop-dead beauty in the passenger seat. She strode into the room wearing a drop-dead dress that made every head turn.
4. adjective Rudely dismissive or disdainful. Used before a noun. In this usage, if is often hyphenated. The politician eventually tempered his drop-dead attitude, indicating that he was willing to work with the groups that had been protesting his proposed legislation.
5. adverb Sensationally; spectacularly; outstandingly. Used before an adjective. In this usage, if is often hyphenated. He was kind of a pudgy, dorky looking kid in high school, but I just saw him at the reunion and he is drop-dead gorgeous now!
1. . to die suddenly. I understand that Tom Anderson dropped dead at his desk yesterday. No one knows why Uncle Bob suddenly dropped dead.
2. Go away and stop bothering me. (Usually Drop dead!) If you think I'm going to put up with your rudeness all afternoon, you can just drop dead! Drop dead! I'm not your slave!
An expression of anger, rejection, or indignation toward someone. For example, I should do all that work for you? Drop dead! This rude imperative is usually hyperbolic, that is, the speaker is not literally asking someone to die on the spot. [c. 1930] Curiously, the adjective (and adverb) drop-dead is not at all insulting. Rather, it means "dazzling" or "awe-inspiring," as in She wore a drop-dead outfit that all the other women admired. This usage originated in slangy journalism in the 1960s.
drop deadINFORMAL, RUDE
If you tell someone to drop dead, you are telling them in a rude and angry way to go away and leave you alone. Richard told me to drop dead. Seventy-five percent of the firms he called for data were hostile and told him to drop dead.
COMMON You can use drop-dead to emphasize that someone or something is very attractive or beautiful. She's drop-dead gorgeous. The club was packed with drop-dead models.
drop dead1 die suddenly and unexpectedly. 2 used as an expression of intense scorn or dislike. informal
This idiom is the source of the adjective drop-dead , which is used to emphasize how attractive someone or something is, as in drop-dead gorgeous .
1 (informal) die very suddenly
2 (spoken) used as a rude way of telling somebody to go away: Drop dead, will you!
exclam. No!; Beat it!; Go away and don’t bother me! I don’t care. Just drop dead!
See also: drop
1. mod. stunning enough to make one drop dead. (Not literal.) I had my living room done in a bright drop-dead red that makes your blood run cold!
2. mod. rude, as if telling someone to drop dead. I couldn’t stand the boss’s drop-dead attitude, so I quit.
I hate you, you are contemptible. This rude imperative dates from the early 1900s. An early example appeared in John O’Hara’s novel Appointment in Samarra (1934): “‘Let’s put snow on his face.’ ‘Oh, drop dead.’” Interestingly enough, in the second half of the 1900s the term, now hyphenated drop-dead, began to be used as an adjective or adverb meaning “very” or “exceedingly” and usually in a positive context. It was frequently paired, especially in the phrase drop-dead gorgeous.