Definition of dead men's shoes in English:

dead men's shoes


  • Property or a position coveted by a prospective successor but available only on a person's death.

    ‘he had fallen into an estate by a series of dead men's shoes’
    • ‘The method for promotion is very much dead men's shoes.’
    • ‘But I'm kind of trapped by a glass ceiling and the only way up is to fill dead men's shoes.’
    • ‘Promotion by seniority, waiting for dead men's shoes, is a sad blow to efficiency, for it stifles initiative and offers no incentive.’
    • ‘A central feature of the process was the emergence of systematic by selection rather than simple seniority, the original system that left officers waiting for dead men's shoes to fill.’
    • ‘Are you up for promotion or waiting for dead men's shoes?’
    • ‘Most of the professions are dead-men's shoes so new eager blood really can't hurt.’
    • ‘Had he stayed in London, he felt his professional life would have consisted of, as he put it, ‘waiting to fill dead men's shoes’.’