kill or cure


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kill or cure

Said of something that can only have one of two outcomes: very negative ("kill") or very positive ("cure"). We're all anxiously awaiting the dean's decision on grant money, as it will kill or cure our research.
See also: cure, kill
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

kill or cure

Either remedy a disease or kill the patient, as in The copy chief did not like her headline for the drug, "Kill or Cure." This expression dates from the mid-1700s, when it was already being used half-jokingly.
See also: cure, kill
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.

kill or cure

(of a remedy for a problem) likely to either work well or fail catastrophically, with no possibility of partial success. British
1998 Richard Gordon Ailments through the Ages Mackenzie complained that the Germans' policy was ‘kill or cure’: if they tried an elaborate laryngectomy, it would turn them from surgeons into assassins.
See also: cure, kill
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

ˌkill or ˈcure

(British English) extreme action which will either be a complete success or a complete failure: This new chemical will either clean the painting perfectly or it will damage it badly. It’s kill or cure.
See also: cure, kill
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Natural History New Zealand, a unit of the Fox Television Group, has embarked on its first co-production with the Discovery Health channel -- a six-part series entitled "Kill or Cure: The Bizarre and Curious History of Medicine."
Due for delivery next April, "Kill or Cure" will look at medical research through the ages, from the discovery of penicillin to the role the Beatles played in the invention of the CT scanner.