deep six Unabridged


verb (used with object) Slang.
to throw overboard.
to get rid of; abandon; discard.
to reject, negate, or ruin: The team deep-sixed the manager's attempt to call Sunday practice.

1950–55; v. use of deep six Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
slang (US) (tr) to dispose of (something, such as documents) completely; destroy
[C20: from six feet deep, the traditional depth for a grave]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

deep six
"discard," 1940s, originally from nautical slang, perhaps from earlier underworld sense of "the grave" (1929), perhaps a reference to the usual grave depth of six feet.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

deep-six definition

To dispose of, discard, or get rid of: “The board of directors deep-sixed the proposal without even reading it.” This phrase is derived from the noun “deep six,” meaning burial at sea and referring to the depth of water necessary for such a burial. The term was later used as slang for a grave (customarily six feet underground) and, by extension, as a verb meaning “to kill.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang Dictionary

deep six definition

  1. tv.
    to jettison something, including a corpse, from a ship at sea. (Usually deep-six as a verb.) : They deep-sixed the body of the first mate, who had died of the shakes.
  2. n.
    the deep sixburial at sea. (Always with the in this sense.) : I think I'd want the deep six, but I'll probably kick off on dry land.
  3. tv.
    to kill or dispose of someone. (Underworld. Usually deep-six as a verb.) : The thugs tried to deep-six the witness, but failed.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

deep six

  1. Also, give or get the deep six. Burial at sea. For example, When the torpedo hit our boat, I was sure we'd get the deep six. This expression alludes to the customary six-foot depth of most graves. [Early 1900s]

  2. Disposal or rejection of something, as in They gave the new plan the deep six. This usage comes from nautical slang of the 1920s for tossing something overboard (to its watery grave; see def. 1). It was transferred to more general kinds of disposal in the 1940s and gave rise to the verb to deep-six, for "toss overboard" or "discard."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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