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Definition of Idiomatic Expressions


What does kiss of death mean?

Meaning of idioms with examples...

kiss of death


If something is described as a kiss of death, it is certain to cause failure and ruin.


The phrase kiss of death is often linked to the phrase Judas kiss. This alludes to the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot.

Judas betrayed Jesus by kissing him as a way to identify him to the Roman soldiers. This led to his arrest and crucifixion.

The biblical story indicates that Judas provides a sign to help the soldiers arrest Jesus. He says:
“Whoever it is I kiss, he is the one; take him into custody, and lead him away under guard.”—Mark 14:44.

The phrase kiss of death is also sometimes attributed to a mafia practice popularized in movies. In this practice, a kiss means that a member of the crime family has been marked for death.


The decision they took not to stand by him was the kiss of death for his career.
Because they suspected him of having become an informer, the boss gave him the kiss of death.
Leila’s marriage to that guy was the kiss of death for her happiness.

This idiom is in the death category

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