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1. Literally, fatally. The autopsy shows that the victim was stabbed to death.
2. To an excessive, extreme, or intolerable degree. I feel like we've discussed this topic to death—let's move on. I was scared to death thinking about what might have happened to you.
work (one or oneself) to death
To make someone or oneself work too hard or for excessively long hours. I have worked myself to death renovating this house, and I'm glad to say that it has all been worth it. You're working the entire department to death. You need to give them a break or they'll burn out before we get the project off the ground.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
To an extreme or intolerable degree, as in I am tired to death of these fund-raising phone calls, or That movie just thrilled me to death. This hyperbolic phrase is used as an intensifier. Also see sick and tired; tired out. [c. 1300]
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.
COMMON You use to death after adjectives such as `scared', `worried', and `bored' to emphasize that someone is very frightened, very worried, or very bored. `I am worried to death,' she wrote to her husband. `Even if something is wrong, why don't you let me know?' She may have been scared to death he would leave her. I've been bored to death since I left the army. Note: You can also say, for example, that something scares or bores you to death. One woman described how she woke up in the morning and the hotel she was staying in was empty, which scared her to death. The meetings bored me to death.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
to ˈdeathextremely; very much: to be bored/frightened/scared/worried to death ♢ I’m sick to death of your endless criticism.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
To an intolerable degree; extremely: worried to death.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.