widow-maker

noun
wid·​ow-mak·​er | \ˈwi-dō-ˌmā-kər, -də-\
variants: or widow maker or less commonly widowmaker

Definition of widow-maker 

: something having the potential to cause sudden loss of life "Our biggest worry is the mines," says Sgt. Darrell McCoy. The Third Platoon has been well trained to handle those widow-makers.— David H. Hackworth : such as

a : a loose limb hanging in or falling from a tree Broken branches that are hung up high in the canopy are called widow makers, for good reason.— Jack Ewing

b : a blockage in a branch of the left coronary artery that commonly causes a fatal heart attack also : the branch of the left coronary artery susceptible to fatal blockage One of my arteries—one known as "the widowmaker"—was almost completely blocked. — Rob Mikulak

First Known Use of widow-maker

1798, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of widow-maker was in 1798

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More Definitions for widow-maker

widow-maker

noun
wid·​ow-mak·​er | \ˈwi-(ˌ)dō-ˌmā-kər \
variants: or widow maker also widowmaker

Medical Definition of widow-maker 

: a blockage in a branch of the left coronary artery that commonly causes a fatal heart attack As the dye fills the coronary arteries surrounding and feeding the heart muscle, they can often be seen with remarkable clarity. So can the small constrictions inside the vessels—“widow-makers,” cardiologists call them …— H. Garrett DeYoung, High Technology, March 1983 also : the branch of the left coronary artery susceptible to fatal blockage One of my arteries—one known as “the widowmaker”—was almost completely blocked. — Rob Mikulak, The Asheville (North Carolina) Citizen-Times, 6 Feb. 2011

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