life – Wiktionary



Various types[edit]


From Center English lif, lyf, from Outdated English līf (life, existence; life-time), from Proto-Germanic *lībą (life, physique), from *lībaną (to stay, keep, be left), from Proto-Indo-European *leyp-, *lip- (to stay, glue). Cognate with Scots life, leif (life), North Frisian liff (life, limb, individual, livelihood), West Frisian liif (stomach, stomach), Dutch lijf (physique), Low German lif (physique; life, life-force; waist), German Leib (physique; womb) and Leben (life), Danish, Norwegian and Swedish liv (life; waist), Icelandic líf (life). Associated to belive.



life (often uncountable, plural lives)

  1. (uncountable) The state of organisms previous their dying, characterised by organic processes equivalent to metabolism and replica and distinguishing them from inanimate objects; the state of being alive and dwelling.

    Having skilled each, the vampire determined that he most well-liked (un)dying to life.  He gave up on life.

    1. (biology) The standing possessed by any of plenty of entities, together with animals, vegetation, fungi, micro organism, and generally viruses, which have the properties of replication and metabolism.
  2. The animating precept or pressure that retains an inorganic factor or idea metaphorically alive (dynamic, related, and so forth) and makes it a “dwelling doc”, “dwelling structure”, and so forth.
  3. Lifeforms, usually or collectively.
    It is life, however not as we all know it.   She found plant life on the planet.   The rover found indicators of life on the alien world.
  4. (countable) A dwelling particular person; the actual fact of a specific particular person being alive. (Mainly when indicating people have been misplaced (died) or saved.)

    Many lives have been misplaced throughout the conflict.   Her fast considering saved many canines’ lives.

    • 2014 June 14, “It is a gasoline”, in The Economist, quantity 411, quantity 8891:

      One of many hidden glories of Victorian engineering is correct drains. Isolating a metropolis’s effluent and delivery it away in underground sewers has most likely saved extra lives than any medical process besides vaccination.

  5. Existence.
    Man’s life on this planet has been marked by continuous battle.   the everlasting life of the soul
    • 1918, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Land That Time Forgot, Chapter VI:
      [] I understand as by no means earlier than how low cost and worthless a factor is life. Life appears a joke, a merciless, grim joke. You’re a laughable incident or a terrifying one as you occur to be much less highly effective or extra highly effective than another type of life which crosses your path; however as a rule you’re of no second in any respect to something however your self. You’re a comedian little determine, hopping from the cradle to the grave. Sure, that’s our bother—we take ourselves too significantly; however Caprona ought to be a positive remedy for that.” She paused and laughed.
    • 2013 June 1, “In the direction of the tip of poverty”, in The Economist[1], quantity 407, quantity 8838, web page 11:

      However poverty’s scourge is fiercest under $1.25 (the typical of the 15 poorest international locations’ personal poverty traces, measured in 2005 {dollars} and adjusted for variations in buying energy): folks under that degree reside lives which can be poor, nasty, brutish and quick.

    • 1994, Violet Quill, Robert Ferro
      Most issues in life, together with life itself, appeared to have articulated sections, discrete and separate and easy.
    1. A worthwhile existence.

      He will get up early within the morning, works all day lengthy — even on weekends — and hardly sees his household. That is no life!  His life was ruined by medicine.

    2. A specific side of existence.
      He struggled to steadiness his household life, social life and work life.   intercourse life, political life
    3. (casual) Social life.

      Get a life.

      • It’s by no means doable to settle all the way down to the atypical routine of life at sea till the screw begins to revolve. There’s an hour or two, after the passengers have embarked, which is disquieting and fussy.
    4. One thing which is inherently a part of an individual’s existence, equivalent to job, household, a beloved one, and so forth.
      She’s my love, my life.   Operating the bakery is her life.
  6. A time frame throughout which one thing has existence.
    1. The interval throughout which one (an individual, an animal, a plant; a civilization, species; a star; and so forth) is alive.

      This mild bulb is designed to have a life of two,000 hours.

      • “My Continental prominence is bettering,” I commented dryly. ¶ Von Lindowe reduce at a furze bush together with his silver-mounted rattan. ¶ “Fairly so,” he stated as dryly, his hand at his mustache. “I’ll say in case your intentions have been identified your life wouldn’t be price a curse.”
      • 1916, Ezra Meeker, The Busy Life of Eighty-5 Years of Ezra Meeker
    2. The span of time throughout which an object operates.
      • 2016, Christine Barbour, Gerald C. Wright, Holding the Republic (→ISBN):
        Even when the invoice’s life is temporary, the member who launched it could actually nonetheless marketing campaign as its champion.
    3. The time frame throughout which an object is recognizable.

      The life of this milk carton could also be hundreds of years on this landfill.

    4. A specific part or interval of existence.
      • 2011, Ehud Lamm, Ron Unger, Organic Computation (→ISBN), web page 90
        This is able to require that reproductive cells don’t exist early on however fairly are produced throughout the organism’s grownup life from the gemules despatched from the varied organs.
    5. A interval extending from a when a (constructive or unfavorable) workplace, punishment, and so forth is conferred on somebody till that individual dies (or, generally, reaches retirement age).
      • 2001, Cynthia L. Cates, Wayne V. McIntosh, Legislation and the Internet of Society (→ISBN), web page 73:
        Sometimes, an appointed choose is appointed for life.
      • 2013, Mahendra P. Singh, German Administrative Legislation (→ISBN), web page 108:
        As a common rule the judges of the executive courts are appointed for life, i.e., they proceed of their workplace until the completion of sixty-eight years within the Federal Administrative Courtroom[.]
      1. (colloquial) A life sentence; a interval of imprisonment that lasts till the convict’s dying (or, generally, parole).
  7. Animation; spirit; vivacity.
    • 1711, Henry Felton, Dissertation on Studying the Classics
      No notion of life and hearth in fancy and in phrases.
    • 1807, William Wordsworth, To A Highland Lady
      That offers thy gestures grace and life.
    1. Probably the most energetic part or participant.
      • 1970, Mathuram Bhoothalingam, The finger on the lute: the story of Mahakavi Subramania Bharati, Nationwide Council of Instructional Analysis and Coaching, p.87:
        “Do not I do know that it’s you who’s the life of this home. Two pleasant kids!”
      • 1998, Monica F. Cohen, Skilled domesticity within the Victorian novel: Ladies, work and residential, Cambridge College Press, web page 32:
        And he’s the life of the celebration on the Musgroves for exactly this cause: the navy has made him into a fantastic storyteller.
  8. A biography.

    His life of the founder is completed, aside from the title.

    • 1741, Conyers Middleton, Lifetime of Cicero
      Writers of explicit lives [] are apt to be prejudiced in favour of their topic.
  9. Nature, actuality, and the types that exist in it.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, in The Superstar:

      The tales didn’t appear to me to the touch life. They have been plainly supposed to have a bracing ethical impact, and maybe had this consequence for the folks at whom they have been aimed. They left me with the impression of a well-delivered stereopticon lecture, with characters about as life-like because the shadows on the display screen, and whisking on and off, on the mercy of the operator.

    • 2010, Brad Steiger, Actual Monsters, Ugly Critters, and Beasts from the Darkside (→ISBN):
      The specialists additionally agree that the bushmen solely painted from life. This perception is borne out by the opposite Gorozamzi Hills cave work, which characterize elephants, hippos, deer, and giraffe.
  10. A chance for existence.
    • 2012, Cindy Champnella, The 12 Presents of Life (→ISBN):
      The picture ebook represented my promise to her—a brand new life—and he or she desperately clung to that promise.
    1. (video video games) One of many participant’s probabilities to play, misplaced when the participant’s character dies or when sure errors are made.

      Scoring 1000 factors is rewarded with an additional life.

      • 1988, David Powell, Rygar (online game evaluation) in Your Sinclair situation 25
        Spend the time killing issues and there is a bonus for every hit – however just for fatalities notched up for the reason that begin of your present life.
    2. (baseball, softball, cricket) An opportunity for the batter (or batting group) to bat once more, given on account of an misplay by a member of the fielding group. [from the 1860s[1] by means of at the least the 1930s]
      • 1915 June 24, Philadelphians on the Diamond, in The New York Lumber Commerce Journal, quantity 59, oage 42:
        Borda despatched a scorching liner to G. Kugler, who made a nifty pick-up, however threw wild at first, giving the batter a life.
      • 1930 Might, Boys’ Life, web page 49:
        However shortstop Tenney, on what ought to have been the sport’s final out, gave a First Crew batter a life on first, when he let a floor ball slip between his legs.
    3. One in every of a participant’s probabilities to play in numerous kids’s playground video games, misplaced when a mistake is made, for instance being struck by the ball in dodgeball.
  11. (uncountable, insurance coverage) The life insurance coverage business.

    I work in life.

  12. (countable) A life assured underneath a life assurance coverage (equal to the coverage itself for a single life contract).
    • 1862, Ellen Wooden, The Channings:

      He renewed two lives which had dropped.



  • (the state that precedes dying): dying
  • (biology): coma
  • (philosophy): void

Coordinate phrases[edit]

Derived phrases[edit]

Associated phrases[edit]


See life/translations § Noun.



  1. (out of date) Synonym of God’s life (an oath)

Additional studying[edit]


  • life at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • life in Key phrases for In the present day: A 21st Century Vocabulary, edited by The Key phrases Venture, Colin MacCabe, Holly Yanacek, 2018.
  • life in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • life in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911.
  1. ^ Paul Dickson, The Dickson Baseball Dictionary



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