The quick and the dead

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The quick and the dead is a term that has been used as a title for various movies and books, though the phrase actually goes back hundreds of years. We will look at the meaning of the term the quick and the dead, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

The quick and the dead is a term that describes all people, alive and dead. In this case, the word quick describes something that is alive, that stirs with life. The term the quick and the dead is found several times in earlier translations of the bible, for example: “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom” in the second book of Timothy, chapter four verse one. Today, the term the quick and the dead has been often used to describe American gunslingers of the Old West, alluding to the fact that the gunslinger was either quick enough on the draw to stay alive in a gunfight, or was dead. This is probably due to a book by the same name published by Louis L’Amour in 1973.


He does this with his excellent book “Somewhere In France” which shows that all war is, in the end, a story of the “quick and the dead,” the personal and local. (The Buffalo News)

In neighboring North Carolina, there seems to be trouble distinguishing between the quick and the dead.  (The Washington Post)

The Quick And The Dead star previously said her disastrous six-year marriage to former San Francisco Chronicle executive editor Phil Bronstein is one of the reasons she has stayed unmarried since their divorce back in 2004. (The Daily Mail)