killed


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to killed: killed steel

(one) must have killed a Chinaman

dated, offensive slang Said when one experiences particularly bad luck. From the superstition that killing someone from China would literally bring one bad luck. Primarily heard in Australia. A: "Someone in the company must have killed a Chinaman, because our sales have been in the toilet for months." B: "Al, that's a really racist thing to say."
See also: Chinaman, have, killed, must

a little (hard) work never killed anybody

Doing hard, arduous work won't have any ill effects on a person, and, in fact, it is often beneficial to them. I told Mrs. Smith that you would help clean out her attic, and I don't want to hear any complaints about it—a little work never killed anybody. I think it would be good for Sarah to get a job this summer. A little hard work never killed anybody, after all.

a little (hard) work never killed anyone

Doing hard, arduous work won't have any ill effects on a person, and, in fact, it is often beneficial to them. I told Mrs. Smith that you would help clean out her attic, and I don't want to hear any complaints about it—a little work never killed anyone. I think it would be good for Sarah to get a job this summer. A little hard work never killed anyone, after all.
See also: anyone, killed, little, never, work

curiosity killed the cat

proverb Inquisitiveness can be dangerous, especially when it extends to things one does not need to know about. I think you'll offend her by asking such personal questions—curiosity killed the cat, after all. I know curiosity killed the cat, but I can't stop the investigation until I know where the donations are really going.
See also: cat, curiosity, killed

kill (one) with kindness

To harm, inconvenience, or bother one by treating them with excessive favor or kindness. The phrase originated as the expression "kill with kindness as fond apes do their young," referring to the notion that such animals sometimes crushed their offspring by hugging them too hard. I love talking to Grandma, but she calls me twice a day to see how I'm doing—right now she's killing me with kindness.
See also: kill, kindness

kill (oneself)

1. To commit suicide. Once John realized he had begun to have thoughts of killing himself, he decided to seek help.
2. To bring about one's death by performing a particular action. This phrase can be said when one's life is or could be in danger, but it is often used hyperbolically. I can hardly breathe—I'm going to kill myself if I go back on the treadmill right now! If they try driving home in this snow, they'll kill themselves—tell them to get a hotel room for the night.
3. To overexert oneself. I know you want to get the report done tonight, but don't kill yourself—it's not even due until next week! They're killing themselves finishing the last touches on the exterior of the house before the storm hits us.
See also: kill

kill (oneself) (doing something)

To overexert oneself or overextend one's effort while doing something. Don't kill yourself trying to get the report done tonight—it's not due until next week anyway. They're killing themselves finishing the last touches on the exterior of the house before the storm hits us.
See also: kill

kill (oneself) laughing

To laugh hysterically and uncontrollably. The comedian had the whole audience killing themselves laughing. My ribs actually hurt from it! I was surprised by how funny my date was last night. I was killing myself laughing at some of her stories!
See also: kill, laugh

kill (someone) with extreme prejudice

To kill someone without hesitation, mercy, or discernment. The general warned the rebels that they must either surrender or be killed with extreme prejudice. We must kill these terrorists with extreme prejudice to ensure the safety of our country.
See also: extreme, kill, prejudice

kill (something) stone dead

To totally halt or end something; to destroy or ruin something utterly. The nasty feedback she got about the painting killed her ambition stone dead. Many thought the rise of digital media formats would kill physical media stone dead, but people have proven that their desire to collect and own something outright often outweighs their desire for convenience.
See also: dead, kill, stone

kill a fly with an elephant gun

To take excessive, overcomplicated, or extravagant means or force to accomplish something relatively minor or simple. With this new system of issuing licenses, the government is trying to kill a fly with an elephant gun. Four separate departments now handle each stage of an application, when a single department could easily process applications from start to finish. Look, you've got some money issues, sure, but filing for bankruptcy would be killing a fly with an elephant gun.
See also: elephant, fly, gun, kill

kill off

1. To kill or eradicate someone or something in large numbers. A noun or pronoun can be used between "kill" and "off." Hey, we're only trying to kill off the weeds here—be careful around my flowers!
2. To kill a character in a work of fiction. A noun or pronoun can be used between "kill" and "off." I can't believe they killed off my favorite character in the season finale.
3. To end or remove something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "kill" and "off." We were supposed to go to the water park today, but the kids killed that off with their repeated temper tantrums. Can we do anything to kill off this smoky smell?
See also: kill, off

kill outright

To kill (a person or animal) immediately or instantly. A noun or pronoun can be used between "kill" and "outright." The trap is designed to kill outright so as to cause as little pain to the animal as possible. The poison doesn't kill you outright. Instead, it slowly works its way through your body, causing organs to shut down as it goes. He was killed outright by the force of the impact.
See also: kill, outright

kill the clock

In sports, to protect a lead by using up as much possible time that remains in a game or match without giving the opposing team a chance to score, generally by maintaining a passive or defensive strategy. With just a narrow two-point lead, the home team is trying to kill the clock to hold out for a win. I don't know, Jim, there's a lot of game time left for them to start killing the clock.
See also: clock, kill

kill the fatted calf

To prepare a lavish celebration, often to welcome someone back from a long absence. The phrase comes from the Biblical parable of the prodigal son, in which a father prepares a feast for his son who has returned home after squandering his fortune. My daughter is coming home from college for the summer, so we're going to kill the fatted calf and have a huge barbecue.
See also: calf, fat, kill

kill the goose that lays the golden egg(s)

To ruin or destroy something that brings one wealth. Firing the programmer who created your most successful app is like killing the goose that lays the golden egg.
See also: golden, goose, kill, lay, that

kill the rabbit

obsolete slang To receive a positive result on a pregnancy test. (From an early pregnancy test developed in 1931 in which the urine of a woman thought to be pregnant was injected into a female rabbit; if the woman was pregnant, the rabbit's ovaries would react. A common misconception at the time was that the rabbit would die if the woman was pregnant, hence the expression.) My grandmother told me that my mother had killed the rabbit. When I asked what she meant, she said that there would soon be another baby in our family, which left me even more confused!
See also: kill, rabbit

kill time

To engage in an activity, usually a rather aimless or idle one, with the goal of making time seem to pass more quickly or less slowly. I'm going to walk down to the bookstore to kill time before my flight. Do you want anything? It used to be that people killed time at the train station by talking to each other, but now everyone is nose-deep in their phone.
See also: kill, time

kill two birds with one stone

To complete, achieve, or take care of two tasks at the same time or with a singular series of actions; to solve two problems with one action or solution. I might as well kill two birds with one stone and drop off my tax forms while I'm at the mall for the computer part I need. Bike-to-work schemes are a great way of killing two birds with one stone: getting more exercise while cutting down on the cost of your daily commute.
See also: bird, kill, one, stone, two
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Curiosity killed the cat.

Prov. Being curious can get you into trouble. (Often used to warn someone against prying into other's affairs.) Jill: Where did you get all that money? Jane: Curiosity killed the cat.
See also: cat, curiosity, killed

kill (someone or an animal) off

to kill all of a group of people or creatures. Lefty set out to kill Max and his boys off. Something killed off all the dinosaurs.
See also: kill, off

kill the fatted calf

Fig. to prepare an elaborate banquet (in someone's honor). (From the biblical story recounting the return of the prodigal son.) When Bob got back from college, his parents killed the fatted calf and threw a great party. Sorry this meal isn't much, John. We didn't have time to kill the fatted calf.
See also: calf, fat, kill

kill time

Fig. to use something up, especially time. I killed time reading a novel. The employees were not encouraged to kill time.
See also: kill, time

kill two birds with one stone

Fig. to solve two problems at one time with a single action. John learned the words to his part in the play while peeling potatoes. He was killing two birds with one stone. I have to cash a check and make a payment on my bank loan. I'll kill two birds with one stone by doing them both in one trip to the bank.
See also: bird, kill, one, stone, two

killed outright

killed immediately. The driver was killed outright in the accident. Twenty people were killed outright in the explosion.
See also: killed, outright

little (hard) work never hurt anyone

 and little (hard) work never killed anyone
Prov. One should expect to do hard or difficult work and not avoid doing it. Go help your father with the yard work. A little hard work never hurt anyone. Go ahead. Bring me some more bricks. A little work never killed anyone.
See also: anyone, hurt, little, never, work
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

curiosity killed the cat

It's best to mind one's own business. For example, Don't ask about his divorce-curiosity killed the cat. This cautionary expression sounds like the moral of some fable or folktale, but any such origin for it has been lost. The first recorded use was in O. Henry's Schools and Schools (1909).
See also: cat, curiosity, killed

kill off

1. Render extinct, eliminate completely, as in The plague killed off entire villages and towns. [c. 1600]
2. Represent as dead, as in This mystery writer kills off a new victim in almost every chapter. [Mid-1800s]
See also: kill, off

kill the fatted calf

Prepare for a joyful occasion or a warm welcome. For example, When Bill comes home from his trip to Korea we're going to kill the fatted calf. This expression alludes to the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), whose father welcomed him by serving the choicest calf after his return. [Early 1600s]
See also: calf, fat, kill

kill time

Pass time aimlessly. For example, There was nothing to do, so I sat around killing time until dinner was ready. This idiom was first recorded about 1768.
See also: kill, time

kill two birds with one stone

Achieve two ends with a single effort, as in As long as I was in town on business, I thought I'd kill two birds and visit my uncle too . This expression is so well known that it is often shortened, as in the example. [c. 1600]
See also: bird, kill, one, stone, two
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 two birds with one stone

If you kill two birds with one stone, you manage to achieve two things at the same time. We can talk about Union Hill while I get this business over with. Kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. He had been on his way to the vegetable man's van, both to purchase some cucumbers for his mother and — to kill two birds with one stone — to seek out Mr Halloran.
See also: bird, kill, one, stone, two

kill the fatted calf

If you kill the fatted calf, you do everything you can to welcome back a person who has been away for a period of time. He went away for year, and when he returned, his family didn't exactly kill the fatted calf. Note: This expression comes from the story of the prodigal son which is told by Jesus in the Bible (Luke 5:3-32). In this story, a young man returns home after wasting all the money his father has given him. However, his father is so pleased to see him that he celebrates his return by killing a calf and preparing a feast.
See also: calf, fat, kill

curiosity killed the cat

You say curiosity killed the cat to warn someone that they might suffer harm themselves if they try to find out about matters that do not involve them. `Where are we going?' Calder asked. `Curiosity killed the cat, dear. You'll find out soon enough.'
See also: cat, curiosity, killed
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

curiosity killed the cat

being inquisitive about other people's affairs may get you into trouble. proverb
See also: cat, curiosity, killed

kill the fatted calf

produce a lavish celebratory feast.
The allusion is to the New Testament story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11–32), in which the forgiving father orders his best calf to be killed in order to provide a feast to celebrate the return of his wayward son. Fatted is an archaic form of the verb fat meaning ‘make or become fat’. Nowadays we use the forms fatten and fattened .
See also: calf, fat, kill

kill time

do things to make time seem to pass more quickly and to avoid getting bored, especially while waiting for something.
See also: kill, time

kill two birds with one stone

achieve two aims at once.
See also: bird, kill, one, stone, two
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

curiosity killed the ˈcat

(saying) used to tell somebody not to ask so many questions, especially in reply to a question that you do not want to answer: ‘Are you two thinking of getting married by any chance?’ ‘Now, now. Curiosity killed the cat!’
See also: cat, curiosity, killed

ˌkill the fatted ˈcalf

welcome home somebody who has been away for a long time by having a big celebration: My brother’s coming home tomorrow, so I expect my parents will be killing the fatted calf for him.This is from a story in the Bible, in which a father arranges a special meal when his son returns to the family after a long time away. A fatted calf is a young cow that has been given extra food to make it fat.
See also: calf, fat, kill

kill two birds with one ˈstone

manage to achieve two aims by doing one thing: If we have to go to Manchester for the meeting, then let’s visit Auntie Joan on the way there. We can kill two birds with one stone.
See also: bird, kill, one, stone, two
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

kill off

v.
1. To destroy some form of life in such large numbers that none is left: The poisonous chemicals have killed off the fish that once lived in this pond. The pesticides killed the crops off.
2. To destroy or eliminate something, especially plans, ideas, or activities: Your insolent behavior has killed off any desire I might have had to help you. The disinfectant killed the odor off.
See also: kill, off
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

killed (off)

mod. alcohol or drug intoxicated. (Drugs.) The team went out drinking and came home killed off.
See also: killed, off

killed

verb
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

kill the fatted calf

To hold a celebration, usually a long-awaited homecoming. Luke 15:23 describes the return of the prodigal son as, “And bring here the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry . . .” Although the guest of honor in the biblical parable was a wastrel whose father welcomed home, “to kill the fatted calf” can refer to a party for anyone whom the host is pleased to see.
See also: calf, fat, kill
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
See also:
References in classic literature ?
He has killed many a brave man--unless indeed he is some god who is angry with the Trojans about their sacrifices, and and has set his hand against them in his displeasure."
I have taken aim at him already and hit him on the right shoulder; my arrow went through the breastpiece of his cuirass; and I made sure I should send him hurrying to the world below, but it seems that I have not killed him.
Towards Spring, we were frequently harassed by Indians; and, in May, 1782, a party assaulted Ashton's station, killed one man, and took a Negro prisoner.
Holder and seventeen men, who were also defeated, with the loss of four men killed, and one wounded.
Then he told them what had passed between him and the genius, and how he had given his word to return at the end of a year to be killed. When they heard this sad news they were in despair, and wept much.
This smoke came nearer and nearer, and then, all at once, it vanished, and they saw the genius, who, without speaking to them, approached the merchant, sword in hand, and, taking him by the arm, said, "Get up and let me kill you as you killed my son."
Then it happened as Tha promised, for the Hairless One fell down before him and lay along the ground, and the First of the Tigers struck him and broke his back, for he thought that there was but one such Thing in the Jungle, and that he had killed Fear.
I have killed Fear.' And Tha said: 'O blind and foolish!
With these words he picked up the sword that Agelaus had dropped when he was being killed, and which was lying upon the ground.
"Hold!" he cried, "the man is guiltless, do him no hurt; and we will spare Medon too, who was always good to me when I was a boy, unless Philoetius or Eumaeus has already killed him, or he has fallen in your way when you were raging about the court."
Bagheera killed right and left as he felt hungry, and so did Mowgli--with one exception.
I turned to Friday, and bade him step forwards and fire at them; he understood me immediately, and running about forty yards, to be nearer them, he shot at them; and I thought he had killed them all, for I saw them all fall of a heap into the boat, though I saw two of them up again quickly; however, he killed two of them, and wounded the third, so that he lay down in the bottom of the boat as if he had been dead.
And we forgot that we were hungry, and why we had grumbled, and were glad to be led by Tiger-Face over the divide, where we killed many Meat-Eaters and were content.
"You killed the Witch of the East and you wear the silver shoes, which bear a powerful charm.
53: The author of the "Aethiopis" says that Aias killed himself about dawn.