I am looking for a word or phrase or idiom that could describe the following situation:

Someone is about to die any moment and might be unable to think and talk properly. However, some time before he finally stops breathing, there appears a moment that he becomes super conscious and seems to be well again. It won't be long before he dies.

There can an expanded use of it for other non-human activities.

E.g. The factory had been undergoing great losses for several months and would probably go bankrupt by the end of the year. But they had got a big order and there were signs of hopes that the company could tide over the crisis. But unfortunately, it turned out to be a case of ______ and the company was destined to close down its business.

"______ " is what I am looking for.

After doing some research, I found "Dead Cat Bounce" which is used in trading stock market. Here's the definition:

A dead cat bounce is a temporary recovery from a prolonged decline or a bear market that is followed by the continuation of the downtrend.


I am not sure whether Dead Cat Bounce could be used outside of trading equities.

So is "Dead Cat Bounce" the right phrase that I have been looking for ?

Or Any there any other better recommendations ?

  • 1
    I like the detail you've put into your question. Can you also please add an example of how you would use the term? You can use 'dead cat bounce' as a placeholder in your example. (Or are you trying to find a replacement for the term "signs of [hope]" in the example you've already provided?)
    – Lawrence
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 23:33
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    No, I don't think you can use "dead cat bounce" outside of trading equities. Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 0:19
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    There is the notion of a second wind from sports that is often metaphorically applied in other contexts.
    – jxh
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 0:54
  • Momentary recovery of consciousness, memory, and intelligence before final death Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 4:55

1 Answer 1


I think the term you are looking for is terminal lucidity. See the following article:


And here's the Wikipedia entry:


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