kiss of death, a/the

kiss of death

An action, event, or association that causes inevitable ruin or failure. An allusion to Judas Iscariot's betrayal of Jesus Christ, during which Judas kissed Jesus as a way of identifying him to those who would put him to death. The company's connection to the disgraced media mogul will likely prove to be its kiss of death. The president refused to stand by the senator during the crisis—essentially giving him the kiss of death.
See also: death, kiss, of

kiss of death

An action or relationship that is ultimately ruinous. For example, Some regard a royal divorce as a kiss of death to the monarchy. This term alludes to the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot, who kissed him as a way of identifying him to the soldiers who came to arrest him (Matthew 26: 47-49). It dates only from about 1940 but was previously called a Judas kiss.
See also: death, kiss, of

kiss of death

an action or event that causes certain failure for an enterprise.
This expression may refer to the kiss of betrayal given by Judas Iscariot to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:48–9).
1998 Spectator I commend the Commission's recent Green Paper and its efforts to introduce an enlightened, evolutionary discussion—although I hope my saying so will not be the kiss of death.
See also: death, kiss, of

kiss of death

n. the direct cause of the end of someone or something. Your attitude was the kiss of death for your employment here.
See also: death, kiss, of

kiss of death, a/the

A destructive or fatal relationship or action, undertaken with seemingly good intentions. The term refers to the betrayal of Jesus by his disciple, Judas Iscariot, who pointed out Jesus to his enemies by kissing him (Matthew 26:47–49). Although the term Judas kiss signified such a betrayal from the sixteenth century, the current cliché dates only from about 1940 and does not necessarily signify treason or disloyalty. For example, publishing an attractive gift book too late to take advantage of Christmas sales might be said to give it the kiss of death—that is, the poor timing will result in significantly fewer copies being sold.
See also: kiss, of