the quick and the dead


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the quick and the dead

Those alive and dead alike. Often used figuratively. ("Quick" has the archaic meaning of "alive" in this phrase.) Today we pay our respects as a nation for the quick and the dead who have fought, and continue to fight, for our freedom and safety. In this new, cutthroat market, there are only two categories of company—the quick and the dead.
See also: and, dead, quick

quick and the dead

The living and the dead, as in The explosion was loud enough to wake the quick and the dead. Although quick has been used for "living" since the 9th century a.d., it survives only in this idiom and in cut to the quick, and may be obsolescent.
See also: and, dead, quick