Under pain of death
Jun 09, · Do XXX under pain of YYY, or more usually, on pain of YYY, is a set phrase meaning that if you don't do XXX then YYY will happen to you. It seems most familiar as "on pain of death", but it could be on pain of perpetual bondage, under pain of ten pounds, Pain means penalty in this context. In your sentence. Jun 21, · Hi, (1) under pain of death vs on pain of death Both version are equally common (or rather equally archaic)? (2) You can find both "on/under pain of death" and "on/under THE pain of death" on the net. (Example without the definite article are much more frequent though). on/under pain of death • In effect, each is swearing to keep it on pain of death. Exercises Vocabulary exercises help you to learn synonyms, collocations and idioms.