Kiasi (Chinese: 驚死, 惊死; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: kiaⁿ-sí) is a Hokkien phrase, literally means afraid of death, to describe the attitude of being overly afraid or timid. Kiasi is commonly compared to Kiasu (literally, fear of losing) and both are commonly used to describe behaviour where Kiasi or Kiasi-ism means to take extreme means to avoid risk and Kiasu or Kiasu-ism means to take extreme means to achieve success. Kiasi is not as popular as kiasu, but is widely used by Hokkien-speaking people in Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan.
The history of kiasi can be traced back to the Chinese idiom 贪生怕死 (pinyin: tān shēng pà sǐ), which describes a person's extreme fear of death, and may drive a person to lose his sense of justice and righteousness. The idiom was originally applied to soldiers that are cowered on the battle field. In modern usage, it refers to people who are irrationally frightful to undertake any task.