to leave for dead

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - leave for dead

"to leave for dead"

to abandon someone or something believing that they are dead, even though they may still be alive


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - leave for dead

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: Why are you so happy? Did you win the lottery?

Friend 2: Something like that. I had bought some stock in a company many years ago and then the company got into some serious trouble and the share price plummeted to almost nothing. I left it for dead and never really thought about it again until yesterday when I received a letter in the mail informing me that the company had recovered and that my stock was now worth more than ten times what I paid for it.

Friend 1: Wow. That's great news.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - leave for dead

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: I can't believe it. This is incredible. I left you for dead on the side of that mountain. I checked your pulse and your breathing and you were gone. I only just managed to make it down before I almost died. I was in a coma for three weeks and have just woken up. I am so happy that you are alive.

Friend 2: The doctors tell me that the only reason I survived was that due to hypothermia my respiration and heart rate were so low, it saved my body from the injuries it had sustained. I am so glad that you made it down because you had enough life left in you to send help for me. Thank you.

Test Your Understanding  

to leave for dead - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   728   click for frequency by country

to leave for dead - Gerund Form:

Leaving his fellow climber for dead after a horrific fall, he descended from the mountain.

to leave for dead - Examples:

1)  ... attacked by criminals, who beat him, stole his belongings and left him for dead. Three men approached the dying man one after the other.

2)  Phil was a far superior swimmer to me and he left me for dead. I was back solo and with my arms and lungs screaming at me, ...

3)  They could have shot us and left us for dead and no one would have known. I eventually gave them most of the cash ...

4)  ... her unconscious, closed the windows, turned on the gas and left her for dead. She was found a few days later.

5)  ... we got to base camp, it was empty, they'd left us for dead. We had to walk two days further to the road.

6)  They left him for dead but he recovered from his wounds, which included a dagger in his face.

7)  ... off to become the player he is for us, could have left us for dead after the relegation but stayed, I admire that a lot.

8)  We are the ones who have climbed up the table when everyone left us for dead, we will climb yet again. The so called big teams have had wobbles ...

9)  The rebels that captured her in the forest left her for dead. She managed to survive and was brought to Freetown for medical attention. 

10)  Dyer was on fire today there were times when he simply left the defenders for dead with a burst of acceleration from minute 1 through to 94.

11)  ... they could at last raise their game. Mayo had form and left Dublin for dead until from somewhere the champions found a response -- but too little too late.

12)  We left artificial intelligence for dead after the hype it created in the' 80s, but it is alive and well.

13)  ... to a dead body (he appeared dead, as the robbers left him for dead). 

14)  Let them wonder if they may have left him for dead, or if he had an accomplice or apprentice that covered up the crime scene.

15)  He shot me in the head to make sure I was dead and left me there for dead. But the bullet just went through my cheek, so I survived.

16)  A month after house robbers left him for dead, a city professor is thankful for "a second chance at life" and ...

17)  His tormentors left him for dead. He was lucky. A local man noticed a bound and battered man twitching ...

18)  ... is all the more shocking considering where Apple was 15 years ago: Left for dead on the side of the road.

19)  Finally, the iPod segment (which is more-or-less left for dead) shrank 19% in units and 26% in revenue year-over-year.

20)  After living through the late 80s and 90s where real progressivism had been left for dead as a force in national politics, Obama is a huge step in the right direction.