1999 - Linedancer - Our industry must expand otherwise it will die a death with just a few clubs remaining
disappear or change very slowly
This expression seems to have been used first of criminals who died resisting to the last on the Tyburn gallows in London. At the battle of Albuera in 1811 during the Peninsular War, William Inglis, commander of the British 57th Regiment of Foot exhorted his men to die hard. They acted with such heroism that the regiment earned the nickname Die-hards. The name was attached later in the century to various groupings in British politics who were determinedly opposed to change. The word diehard is still often used of someone who is stubbornly conservative or reactionary.
die in harness
die before retirement
This expression is drawing a comparison between a person at work and a horse in harness drawing a plough or cart.
1992 - Harper's Magazine - Don't overly concern yourself with the union pension fund.
Musicians mostly die in harness.
die in the last ditch
die desperately defending something
die fighting to the last extremity
This expression comes from a remark attributed to King William III (1650-1702). Asked whether he did not see that his country was lost, he is said to have responded : There is one way never to see it lost, and that is to die in the last ditch. Last-ditch is often used as an adjective meaning desperately resisting to the end.
the die is cast
an event has happened or a decision has been taken that cannot be changed.
This expression has its origins in Julius Caesar's remark as he was about to cross the Rubicon as reported by the Roman historian Suetonius : jacta alea esto – let the die be cast.
die like flies
die or collapse in large numbers
die on the vine
be unsuccessful at an early stage
die on your feet
come to a sudden or premature end – informal
die with your boots on
die while actively occupied
Die with your boots on was apparently first used in the late 19th century of the deaths of cowboys and others in the American West who were killed in gun battles or hanged.
never say die
used to encourage someone not to give up hope in a difficult situation
straight as a die
entirely open and honest
1920 - Blackwood's Magazine - The Ganges Canal runs straight as a die between its wooded banks.
to die for
extremely good or desirable – informal
1990 - Los Angeles - Farther down the street is Tutti's, an Italian deli-restaurant that serves up hazelnut torte to die for.