Power can be murder to resist.

This is the tagline of the novel and film The Firm.

What does it mean for something to "be murder to resist"?


"Murder to " do something means that it is very very hard. For example "That mountain is murder to climb", or "That course is murder to get an A in".

In this case the tag is playing on the literal sense of murder also.

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  • 1
    In fact, whatever is "murder" to do, is so difficult that it would kill you to do it. Or nearly kill you. – DoubleDouble Jul 24 '15 at 16:44
  • @DoubleDouble That's the origin, but the usual meaning is much less strong than that. More like: "I had to go without coffee for a whole day - it was murder". – DJClayworth Jul 24 '15 at 17:24

this is idiomatic and it means "Power can be very difficult to resist", which in turn means "When offered power, it can be very difficult to refuse to take it." 'Power' in this context means having influence over someone or something, rather than electrical power etc.

The film also involves the crime of murder, so there is a play on words. Presumable the taking and exercise of power involves murder.

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