kiss of death

noun phrase

Definition of kiss of death

:something (such as an act or association) ultimately causing ruin
  • The movie has a G rating, which is almost a kiss of death. Last year, fewer than 2% of new films were rated G, and nearly all of those were animated.
  • Sports Illustrated
usually used with the
  • Not long ago, when I proposed to my agent that she champion a book of mine as a work of literature instead of trying to present it as a "Sixties memoir," she told me, with a rueful laugh, that in publishing circles nowadays the "L" word is the kiss of death.
  • —Joel Agee
  • … a faraway region whose populations are so deeply anti-Western that any government cooperation with America can be the kiss of death
  • —Alan Tonelson

Origin and Etymology of kiss of death

from the kiss with which Judas betrayed Jesus (Mark 14:44–46)


Learn More about kiss of death


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up kiss of death? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!