Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.


die in harness

die in harness
Meaning: expire while working, keep working to the end.
Example: She doesn’t want to retire – she’d rather die in harness.

Link to this page:



  • Expression: Taleb writes on 18 March, 2017

    Can you show some love idioms.

  • Expression: Jane Howard writes on 15 January, 2017

    Its a reference to a ‘war horse”, when armies rode to war. A member of the military who dies while still in service dies “in harness”. A different way (poetic even) of saying the person was working up until his death and as horses are thought of as god’s most noble creature, is a way of honoring him (or her). This naturally led to the term being used in other professions as well.

    Example: Joseph Radetzky, a veteran of Marengo, Wagram and other smoky battles of the Napoleonic wars, was one of the military glories of the now defunct Austro-Hungarian Empire. He lived to be over 90 and died in harness. For years he fought the red-tape artists who taught that military science, like the Rock of Ages, never changed.

    The measure of his success, as chief of staff and Field Marshal, may be found in the fact that during his lifetime Austria occasionally won a fight. After his death came the evil days; Austria was beaten by Louis Napoleon, by Bismarck, and, finally, in the World War. Francis Joseph, fated to rule the Austro-Hungarian Empire for some three-quarters of a century, was not born under a military star; he went forth to battle and he always- well, almost always- fell.

  • Expression: S. Arshad Ali writes on 26 September, 2016

    I have a friend who I believe die in harness.

  • Expression: Amna writes on 4 April, 2016

    I feel sorry for most people that belong to South Asia as they have to learn such ridiculous idioms for IELTS and English speaking exams that literally no one even uses anymore. This is coming from someone who has been born, raised and educated within England.

    • Expression: Waqas writes on 7 May, 2016

      Thanks, Amna I am preparing for my civil service exams, and you are right we have to learn all this crap for exams.

    • Expression: Benelovent writes on 14 July, 2016

      We also feel sorry for you guys that only language you are capable of understanding is ENGLISH! May Jesus bless you with abilities to learn other languages as well. :)

      • Expression: Sanchita writes on 27 February, 2017

        Benelovent, instead of feeling sorry for us try to get your facts right. An average Indian knows at least two languages. I know three languages.

  • Expression: dr gopal lade writes on 30 March, 2015

    die in harness more example please

    • Expression: muhammad Hayat writes on 3 October, 2015

      Rashid Minhas died in harness

  • Expression: salma Ahmed writes on 29 November, 2014

    He will die in harness but he will never give up.

Share your thoughts