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hang on like grim death

To clutch something very tightly, usually to prevent one from falling. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. After the ladder tipped over, I hung on like grim death so that I didn't fall off the roof.
See also: death, grim, hang, like, on

paint a (some kind of) picture of (something)

To give an elaborate or detailed description of something that portrays it in a specific way. The board meeting painted a pretty grim picture of the company's future. Jonathan always paints an idyllic picture of our childhood, glossing over the bad memories we had of our father.
See also: kind, of, paint, picture

Grim Reaper

Death, as personified by a cloaked, scythe-wielding man or skeleton. She's been in three really terrible car accidents but has miraculously avoided the Grim Reaper.
See also: grim, reaper

grim reaper

Fig. death. I think I have a few years to go yet before the grim reaper pays me a call.
See also: grim, reaper

like grim death

mainly BRITISH
If you hold onto something like grim death, you hold onto it very tightly. I clung to the chain like grim death.
See also: death, grim, like

the Grim Reaper

The Grim Reaper is an imaginary character who represents death. He looks like a skeleton, wears a long, black cloak with a hood, and carries a scythe (= tool for cutting grass). By giving away assets while still alive, inheritance tax can be avoided entirely by the time the Grim Reaper calls. They were sitting around, waiting for the Grim Reaper.
See also: grim, reaper

like (or for) grim death

with intense determination.
1989 Jonathan Gash Jade Woman Here and there a greenish scumble of vegetation hung on for grim death.
See also: death, grim, like

the Grim Reaper

a personification of death in the form of a cloaked skeleton wielding a large scythe.
See also: grim, reaper

hang on/hold on (to somebody/something) like grim ˈdeath

hold somebody/something very tightly, usually because you are afraid or determined not to let go: As the horse galloped off, you could see poor Sarah hanging on like grim death.The robbers tried to steal my bag, but I held on to it like grim death.
The word grim (= very serious or unpleasant) is often used to describe death.
See also: death, grim, hang, hold, like, on
References in periodicals archive ?
What is grimmer still is that not too many of us will be that bothered what happens on election day.
Most black-owned firms will have to rely on and get debt going into the future, rather than equity," grimmer asserts.
Stephen Grimmer, Managing Director, purchased a total of
PORTVALE 1 OLDHAM 0 JACK Grimmer capped a man-ofthe-match home debut with the winner to put Port Vale on the verge of the play-off places.
The Fred and Rose West-type storyline has, obviously, been grimmer than grim, but old Joe (George Costigan) was no match for the cream of the cops - all of them, this being Scott and Bailey, women.
Jack Grimmer added another armband to his collection against Germany in midweek - now the Fulham youngster has his sights set on skippering Scotland all the way up.
Aberdeen are furious after midfielder Jack Grimmer, 17, joined Fulham for just pounds 200,000, while Dundee United's starlet Scott Allan moved to West Brom earlier this month for pounds 400,000.
Neighbour George Grimmer, 78, said: "It's quite dramatic to see something like this in your street.
The book detailing ACA art projects will be launched in conjunction with the new space in which you can see work by Tod Hanson, Marcus Coates, Alan Smith, Paul Grimmer and more.
NIGEL l GRIMMER, 36, an artist from London: "I think it is a generational thing.
But it was bad news all round for the bigger parties, who both saw their share slide by two per cent as the economic climate becomes ever grimmer.
WITH Labour's prospects looking even grimmer for the next election, Gordon Brown is set to fight back.
People of all ages are invited to make masks from recycled materials, to tie in with the current exhibition Plastic Life by Nigel Grimmer.
SITTING tenant John Grimmer claims he has been threatened with eviction because his toilet is TOO LOUD.
The picture painted about their behavior was a little grimmer than reality.