Definition of death wish in US English:

death wish


  • A desire for someone's death, especially an unconscious desire for one's own death.

    Compare with death instinct
    • ‘Certainly the world of The Grifters is not for the faint of heart, where life is a moral quicksand, relaxing is a death wish, and escape is impossible.’
    • ‘He knew that approaching now would be a death wish.’
    • ‘In many senses, an especially beautiful literary expression of suicide that does not involve the death wish is in The Little Prince.’
    • ‘Beyond a small circle of knuckle draggers with a death wish, will aircraft-grade aluminum toboggans and such sell?’
    • ‘I rolled over to look at my clock and groaned. 5: 30 am, whoever was knocking had a serious death wish.’
    • ‘The parallel between suicide and death was established as early as Freud in his discussions of the death wish, and also in the work of Klein.’
    • ‘This is the sort of course all golfers with a death wish want to play: if you are slightly off your game it will slowly drag you down into a state of mediocrity.’
    • ‘It would be speaking too strongly to claim that the French and like-minded inhabitants of other continental European countries have a death wish.’
    • ‘How can the railways cater for the occasional idiot with a death wish?’
    • ‘Whether this collision was really an accident or due to a subconscious death wish is open to question.’
    • ‘Don't scream in fear, tourists already think we have a death wish.’
    • ‘The journey is further enlivened by local drivers, who appear to have a collective death wish, and the occasional stray cow grazing by the roadside.’
    • ‘Could the British press have discovered a curious tendency for elephants with a death wish to form groups of 280, or was this a coincidence?’
    • ‘It's a neat conceit, highly theatrical: drop four unrelated characters with a death wish onto a makeshift stage and see what happens.’
    • ‘Wilbur, who longs for Alice himself but recognizes his death wish means he doesn't have much to offer, starts making tiny changes in his life.’
    • ‘Think about it - anyone who smokes in this day and age of acute awareness of the many and sundry risks involved obviously has a death wish.’
    • ‘The sniper wants to be caught because he has a death wish.’
    • ‘‘Only those with a death wish just sit out here in the snow,’ said Zechariah.’
    • ‘Ever-present cigarettes create the disturbing impression that the film's characters are possessed by a collective death wish.’
    • ‘At one level, this behavior may be interpreted as acting out a death wish, or a suicide pact, in which both partners ultimately die.’


death wish

/ˈdɛθ ˌwɪʃ//ˈdeTH ˌwiSH/