death wish


: the conscious or unconscious desire for the death of oneself or of another

Example Sentences

Have you seen the way she drives? She must have a death wish.
Recent Examples on the Web Ditlevsen also wrote candidly about her death wish, with unsentimental emotional force. Nina Siegal, New York Times, 10 Jan. 2023 Jack Gallagher, the irascible Houston Post columnist of Pastorini’s heyday, used to complain that the Oilers’ dashing quarterback had a death wish. Dallas News, 27 July 2022 Even Sigmund Freud believed that all humans have a death wish. Donna Sarkar, Discover Magazine, 14 Mar. 2022 Did Trump's 'death wish' comment toward McConnell go too far? Joel Mathis, The Week, 12 Oct. 2022 In African landscapes that are green, brown, blue, and yellow, painting your butt with sharp streaks of black and white seems like a death wish. WIRED, 28 Nov. 2022 Is leaving high blood pressure untreated really a death wish? Isabella Cueto, STAT, 11 Oct. 2022 Trump turns up heat on Mitch McConnell criticism, says senator has a 'death wish' The food and wine experience had to be canceled because of COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021, so people were more than ready for its return in this year. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, 1 Oct. 2022 The first Galito’s opened in Mbombela, South Africa, supposedly next to a Nando’s, which means, from the outset, Germishuys had either extreme confidence in his product or a death wish. Tim Carman, Washington Post, 1 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'death wish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1856, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of death wish was in 1856

Dictionary Entries Near death wish

Cite this Entry

“Death wish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Mar. 2023.

Medical Definition

death wish

: the conscious or unconscious desire for the death of another or of oneself

called also destrudo

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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