taken for dead

take (one) for dead

To mistakenly assume or believe that one is dead. The bandits took the woman for dead, but she survived and swore revenge against them all. I took the creature for dead, but it leaped up and bit me on the arm when I approached it.
See also: dead, take

taken for dead

appearing to be dead; assumed to be dead. I was so ill with the flu that I was almost taken for dead. The accident victims were so seriously injured that they were taken for dead at first.
See also: dead, taken
References in periodicals archive ?
Taken for Dead (Katie Maguire Book 4): Graham Masterton 7.
A faint breath from a body in a British morgue tipped off officials that a 61-year-old woman taken for dead on New Year's Eve was very much alive.