work (one or oneself) to death(redirected from worked themselves to death)
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.
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]
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.
to ˈdeathextremely; very much: to be bored/frightened/scared/worried to death ♢ I’m sick to death of your endless criticism.
ˌwork yourself/somebody to ˈdeath(informal) work, or make somebody work, very hard: That company is working him to death. ♢ She works herself to death and nobody ever thanks her for anything.
To an intolerable degree; extremely: worried to death.