from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The act of feigning death.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In pathology, local death; gangrene.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
In the animal kingdom, it's known as thanatosis - an animal feigns death in order to evade predators or unwelcome mating attention.
I'm not going to comment on whether it's a hook, book, crook, synopsis or study of thanatosis.