In the software development industry, a death march is a dysphemism or description for the end phase of a project when a hard deadline has to be met, often to meet an arbitrary ship date leaked to the press and/or the shareholders. Often if a project is off schedule due to mismanagement (as many are), said management will ask team members to work especially grueling hours, weekends (sometimes with a straight face), or by attempting to "throw (enough) bodies at the problem" with varying results, often causing burnout. It is also common for a developer to subsist on flat food while in the midst of a death march.
Bill Gates: The world wants and our shareholders need Vista by Christmas!
Steve Ballmer: We have had our developers on a perma death march for the last three years to ship it and need a few more monthes.
Bill Gates: Just drop development of all the useful features and leave the annoying ones!
by winston smith the III December 12, 2007
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a forced march of POW's or captives that results in a high rate of death.
the japanesse made American and fillopons POW's through Bataan to a camp were most died.
by xavier talbot thiabaux August 13, 2005
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The period of time in a work day from after you take lunch, until the time you leave. Mainly because it seems like the slowest part of the day... and it drags on longer and longer until you actually get to leave. Kind of like waiting on death row.
Steve: Hey Dan this death march really sucks.
Dan: Yea, I know, lets go down to the quick stop at 4.
by Dan Smith2 December 21, 2006
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This comes about when one friend underestimates the length of a hike that a group of friends are about to undertake. In reality, it becomes a potentially fatal march in excess of 3 hours + in an uncharted wooded area that a group of friends, in various stages of physical fitness, take in an effort to become completely and utterly lost yet amazingly remain within 100 meters of a residential property at all times. Strangers may come by and give completely incorrect directional advice all the while stating that ‘I know this area well’.

The Death March can be so long that several members of the group may die before the end either from dehydration or arthritic pain for those awaiting hip replacement surgery. It is tradition that at the end of the Death March one of the group attempts to jump a metal gate thereby smashing his body painfully to the ground on the resultant fall. This is followed by shouts of pain (Chris), concern (Trevor/Paul/Ben/Dean) and quiet giggling (Bruce).
Guy1: Are we doing on a regular hike, or is this a death march like last year?!?
Guy2: This time is different man. I know this trail like the back of my hand
Guy3: Riiiiiight...
by Joe Swift July 29, 2010
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A potential but fantastical march of all those taken prisoner in the Trump administration (those who’ve gone to prison) where the marchers would be left to die along the way, that is if our society were not “woke” and we still did this kind of sadistic thing.
Some have fantasies of a Trumpian Death March but fortunately the mass of greedy prisoners will only be deprived of their freedoms and their multi-millions while they are briefly held for their crimes.
by Dr Bunnygirl October 16, 2019
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Slang for Provigil, the brand name for the remarkable prescription drug Modafinil. Modafinil erases fatigue and keeps you alert, but it's not addictive, it's non-toxic, it doesn't trigger psychosis, and most remarkably, it has no recreational value. It even has no hangover. For that reason, it is a perfect companion to coffee and cigarettes when you've got to death march all weekend because you played XBox all week and blew Friday's deadline. Also known as daffodils.
Dude, you better stock up on doctor death march or you might resort to trucker speed to get you through finals.
by rainbow coma February 6, 2009
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