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Dead

Dead as a door-nail. The door-nail is the plate or knob on which the knocker or hammer strikes. As this nail is knocked on the head several times a day, it cannot be supposed to have much l…

Dead Lift

I am at a dead lift. In a strait or difficulty where I greatly need help; a hopeless exigency. A dead lift is the lifting of a dead or inactive body, which must be done by sheer force. So…

Dead Hand

(A). A first-rate. One that would dead-beat. (See Mortmain.) “First-rate work it was too; he was always a dead hand at splitting.” —Boldrewood: Robbery Under Arms, xv. …

Dead Horse

Flogging a dead horse. Attempting to revive a question already settled. John Bright used the phrase in the House of Commons. Working for a dead horse. Working for wages already paid. Sou…

Dead Lock

A lock which has no spring catch. Metaphorically, a state of things so entangled that there seems to be no practical solution. “Things are at a dead-lock.” —The Times. D…

Dead Set

He made a dead set at her. A pointed or decided determination to bring matters to a crisis. The allusion is to a setter dog that has discovered game, and makes a dead set at it. To be at a…

Dead Drunk

So intoxicated as to be wholly powerless. “Pythagoras has finely observed that a man is not to be considered dead drunk till he lies on the floor and stretches out his arms and legs t…

Dead Freight

That part of a cargo which does not belong to the freight. Dead freight is not counted in the freight, and when the cargo is delivered is not to be reckoned. Source: Dictionary of Phrase …

Dead Heat

A race to be run again between two horses that have “tied.” A heat is that part of a race run without stopping. One, two, or more heats make a race. A dead heat is a heat which …

Dead Lights

Strong wooden shutters to close the cabin windows of a ship; they deaden or kill the daylight. To ship the dead lights. To draw the shutter over the cabin window; to keep out the sea when …