Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


She might die, and if he ever returned it would be to realize the loss he had sustained.

He must be a cursed scoundrel to leave that poor lad there to die!

This operation is performed by the aid of a punch and die fitted into a screw-press.

They have shown themselves anxious to live for it and to die for it.

Absolute directness was a part of her nature; she could die, but not manouvre.

What opening for extrication, unless, indeed, Emilia should die?

And did her beauty gladden me, for that one moment, and then die?

In a land of healing miracles, neighbors must not suffer and die unattended.

He would rather live and die in fear than change this concept of God.

All I ask, said Stokes, is to be laid by that officer that I may die in his presence.


mid-12c., possibly from Old Danish døja or Old Norse deyja "to die, pass away," both from Proto-Germanic *dawjanan (cf. Old Frisian deja "to kill," Old Saxon doian, Old High German touwen, Gothic diwans "mortal"), from PIE root *dheu- (3) "to pass away, become senseless" (cf. Old Irish dith "end, death," Old Church Slavonic daviti, Russian davit' "to choke, suffer").

It has been speculated that Old English had *diegan, from the same source, but it is not in any of the surviving texts and the preferred words were steorfan (see starve), sweltan (see swelter), wesan dead, also forðgan and other euphemisms.

Languages usually don't borrow words from abroad for central life experiences, but "die" words are an exception, because they are often hidden or changed euphemistically out of superstitious dread. A Dutch euphemism translates as "to give the pipe to Maarten." Regularly spelled dege through 15c., and still pronounced "dee" by some in Lancashire and Scotland. Used figuratively (of sounds, etc.) from 1580s. Related: Died; dies.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.