the/(one's) last breath

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the/(one's) last breath

1. The final moment before one dies; the last period of one's life. Even though my grandfather's lungs were riddled with cancer and emphysema, he remained a smoker until his very last breath. The soldiers of the kingdom vowed to defend it to the last breath.
2. The last moment before a person or group ultimately fails or must give up. We might be down by 10 points, but we have to keep on fighting to the last breath! Even as their stocks plummeted, the company maintained a public image of success right to their last breath.
See also: breath, last
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
The beats of her heart grew fainter and fainter, and vaguer, like a fountain giving out, like an echo dying away;--and when she exhaled her last breath, she thought she saw in the half-opened heavens a gigantic parrot hovering above her head.
'She stole from the corpse, when it had hardly turned to one, that which the dead mother had prayed her, with her last breath, to keep for the infant's sake.'
In that last outburst of joy her last breath had passed.
SECOND MESSENGER Beside the altar on a keen-edged sword She fell and closed her eyes in night, but erst She mourned for Megareus who nobly died Long since, then for her son; with her last breath She cursed thee, the slayer of her child.
She remained with the PPP through thick and thin till her last breath. Apa Shamshad also served as the party's women wing president in Shikarpur district.
Summary: Washington DC, [USA] Sep 02 (ANI): Veteran TV actor Susan Brown took her last breath on Saturday (local time), following a prolonged battle with Alzheimer's.
Jahan then went on to say that Shami is a "big flirt" and has not "treated me like his wife" before adding that she will not divorce him till her last breath. "I've done everything he wanted me to do.
The minister observed that Benazir Bhutto fought for the restoration of democracy and the people's right to rule till her last breath and the void created by her death in the politics of Pakistan would never be filled.
I've been told that as she takes her last breath, there will be a nod to the past and a send-off truly fitting for one of the soap's best-loved characters.
Deepti's younger sister Neetu said, " Pawan tortured my sister till her last breath. He had tried to kill her earlier too." On Wednesday, Pawan's body was found hanging from a tree.
A WOMAN has told a jury she thought she had taken her last breath when she was allegedly attacked and throttled by a man.
My daughter fought until her last breath, as have thousands of others, including Jane Tomlinson, but character and spirit didn't save them.
But I could feel her anticipation of humiliation and death as she prepared to be strapped in before witnesses to take her last breath. She is number 208 on the list of executions by Texas since capital punishment was reinstated there in 1982.
[USA], Feb 27 (ANI): Comedian Bill Cosby's daughter Ensa took her last breath at the age of 44 in Massachusetts.