fate worse than death, a

fate worse than death

A hyperbolic phrase referring to a situation or experience that is very unpleasant. I appreciate Gina inviting me to go with her to the theater, but having to listen to those opera singers would be a fate worse than death.
See also: death, fate, worse

fate worse than death

Fig. a terrible fate. (Usually an exaggeration.) Having to sit through one of his lectures is a fate worse than death.
See also: death, fate, worse

fate worse than death, a

A highly undesirable occurrence, a misfortune, as in Dean thinks driving daily during rush hour is a fate worse than death. Formerly applied quite seriously to a woman's loss of virginity, this idiom today is used hyperbolically and far more loosely. [1600s]
See also: fate, worse

a fate worse than death

If you describe something that could happen as a fate worse than death, you mean that it is extremely unpleasant. They were forced to share the same office space as me — a fate worse than death. Why is it considered a fate worse than death to stay at home and rear children? Note: This expression is often used humorously to show that you do not think that the thing is really very bad.
See also: death, fate, worse

a fate worse than death

a terrible experience, especially that of seduction or rape.
1991 Thomas Hayden The Killing Frost He dominated the conversation, holding the Hackett and Townshend women spellbound as he told of how he had broken up a white-slave ring in Dublin, and how he had rescued an innocent young girl from a fate worse than death.
See also: death, fate, worse

a ˌfate worse than ˈdeath

(often humorous) a terrible experience: Go on a trip with the Trumans? You’re joking. It would be a fate worse than death.
See also: death, fate, worse

fate worse than death, a

Seduction or rape of a woman. This term, originating about the mid-seventeenth century, became a cliché in the late nineteenth century, when it also began to be used in a jocular fashion for sexual relations among willing partners. E. R. Burroughs, however, still meant it seriously: “The ape . . . bearing Jane Porter away toward a fate a thousand times worse than death” (Tarzan, 1917).
See also: fate, worse