kiss of death

kiss of death

noun
a fatal or destructive relationship or action: The support of the outlawed group was the kiss of death to the candidate.

Origin:
1945–50

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World English Dictionary
kiss of death
 
n
an act or relationship that has fatal or disastrous consequences
 
[from Judas' kiss that betrayed Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:44--45)]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

kiss of death

An action or relationship that is ultimately ruinous. For example, Some regard a royal divorce as a kiss of death to the monarchy. This term alludes to the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot, who kissed him as a way of identifying him to the soldiers who came to arrest him (Matthew 26: 47-49). It dates only from about 1940 but was previously called a Judas kiss.

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