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To Step Into Dead Man’s Shoes Meaning, Synonyms, Examples

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to step into dead man's shoes

The idiom “to step into dead man’s shoes” means to take over the position or role of someone who has died. It implies that one cannot advance in their career or life until someone above them passes away. The phrase is often used in a negative or sarcastic way, to express frustration or dissatisfaction with the lack of opportunities or progress. For example, “At that particular time, jobs were very difficult to obtain. It was more or less dead men’s shoes.” 

Usage With Examples

The idiom traces its origin back to the 16th century, when people held their work posts for life and there was no official retirement age established. Here’s how you can use this phrase in a sentence:

  1. He was reluctant to step into dead man’s shoes and take over his father’s business after his sudden death.
  2. He felt guilty for stepping into dead man’s shoes and replacing his best friend as the lead singer of the band.
  3. She was proud to step into dead man’s shoes and continue her mother’s legacy as a human rights activist.

Also Read: 500+ Useful Idioms with Examples, Sentences & Meanings

Synonyms and Similar Phrases

The above idiom shares its meaning with several other words and phrases in English. Some of them are as follows:

  1. Transport
  2. Banish
  3. Can
  4. Deport
  5. Depose
  6. Dethrone
  7. Discard
  8. Discharge
  9. Dismiss
  10. Exile

To Step Into Dead Man’s Shoes Quiz

Choose the best option to complete the sentence:

After the CEO passed away, his son _________.

A) stepped into dead man’s shoes 

B) stepped on dead man’s shoes 

C) stepped out of dead man’s shoes 

D) stepped over dead man’s shoes

The correct answer is A) 

We hope that this blog helped you understand the idiom “to step into dead man’s shoes” and its meaning, origin, usage, and synonyms. To explore more idioms like this, keep following Leverage Edu.

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