The Obama administration had identified a more direct solution. In its dying weeks it filed a case at the WTO, suing China for its aluminium subsidies.

(The Economist)

Could this(dying weeks) mean the period when his administration had only few days left in office? Since "dying" in this case could also mean "ending"?

  • 5
    Yes indeed, your understanding is correct. "Dying weeks" does refer to the last few weeks before the Obama administration came to an end.
    – satnam
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 12:56
  • X-ing days/months/weeks = the days/months/weeks when/while X was happening.
    – LawrenceC
    Commented Jul 12, 2018 at 3:23

1 Answer 1


This is a metaphor, likening the administration to a person near the end of life. It's a period when the end of its time is obviously approaching and it is less effective than before.

Your understanding is correct, and "ending" could have been used instead. "Dying weeks" makes it clearer that this is a last-chance attempt at action, and there wouldn't be time to try again.

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