perish the thought

perish

[per-ish]
verb (used without object)
1.
to die or be destroyed through violence, privation, etc.: to perish in an earthquake.
2.
to pass away or disappear: an age of elegance that has forever perished.
3.
to suffer destruction or ruin: His valuable paintings perished in the fire.
4.
to suffer spiritual death: Save us, lest we perish.
Idioms
5.
perish the thought, may it never happen: used facetiously or as an afterthought of foreboding.

Origin:
1200–50; Middle English perissen < Old French periss-, long stem of perir < Latin perīre to perish, literally, go through, spend fully, equivalent to per- per- + īre to go

perishless, adjective
perishment, noun
unperished, adjective


1. expire. See die1. 2. wither, shrivel, rot, molder, vanish.


2. appear.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
perish (ˈpɛrɪʃ)
 
vb
1.  to be destroyed or die, esp in an untimely way
2.  (tr sometimes followed by with or from) to cause to suffer: we were perished with cold
3.  to rot: leather perishes if exposed to bad weather
4.  perish the thought! may it never be or happen thus
 
n
5.  informal (Austral) do a perish to die or come near to dying of thirst or starvation
 
[C13: from Old French périr, from Latin perīre to pass away entirely, from per- (away) + īre to go]

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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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

perish
mid-13c., from periss- prp. stem of O.Fr. perir, from L. perire "to be lost, perish," lit. "to go through," from per- "through, completely, to destruction" + ire "to go." Perishables in reference to foodstuffs is attested from 1895.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

perish the thought

Don't even think of it. This expression is used as a wish that what was just mentioned will never happen. For example, He's going to give another speech? Perish the thought! This phrase appeared in Handel's oratorio Joshua (1748; text by Thomas Morell): "It never shall be said that our allies in vain implor'd our aid. Perish the thought!" Also see god forbid.

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