if looks could kill

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

In chapter XVI of Bram Stoker's Dracula in a diary entry of Dr. Seward, he notes about the undead Lucy Westenra that "If ever a face meant death--if looks could kill--we saw it at that moment."

An ellipsis (anapodoton) for an expression such as "If looks could kill, her look would have led to the death of the person she was looking at."

A possible origin of the phrase comes from the legend of Medusa, who had the power to turn anyone who looked at her into stone.

PronunciationEdit

  • (file)

PhraseEdit

if looks could kill

  1. (idiomatic) Used to characterize a look of strong hostility

TranslationsEdit

See alsoEdit