life


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life

 (līf)
n. pl. lives (līvz)
1.
a. The property or quality that distinguishes living organisms from dead organisms and inanimate matter, manifested in functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, and response to stimuli or adaptation to the environment originating from within the organism.
b. The characteristic state or condition of a living organism.
2. Living organisms considered as a group: plant life; marine life.
3. A living being, especially a person: an earthquake that claimed hundreds of lives.
4. The physical, mental, and spiritual experiences that constitute existence: the artistic life of a writer.
5.
a. The interval of time between birth and death: She led a good, long life.
b. The interval of time between one's birth and the present: has had hay fever all his life.
c. A particular segment of one's life: my adolescent life.
d. The period from an occurrence until death: elected for life; paralyzed for life.
e. Slang A sentence of imprisonment lasting till death.
6. The time for which something exists or functions: the useful life of a car.
7. A spiritual state regarded as a transcending of corporeal death.
8. An account of a person's life; a biography.
9. Human existence, relationships, or activity in general: real life; everyday life.
10.
a. A manner of living: led a hard life.
b. A specific, characteristic manner of existence. Used of inanimate objects: "Great institutions seem to have a life of their own, independent of those who run them" (New Republic).
c. The activities and interests of a particular area or realm: musical life in New York.
11.
a. A source of vitality; an animating force: She's the life of the show.
b. Liveliness or vitality; animation: a face that is full of life.
12.
a. Something that actually exists regarded as a subject for an artist: painted from life.
b. Actual environment or reality; nature.
adj.
1. Of or relating to animate existence; involved in or necessary for living: life processes.
2. Continuing for a lifetime; lifelong: life partner; life imprisonment.
3. Using a living model as a subject for an artist: a life sculpture.
Idioms:
as big as life
1. Life-size.
2. Actually present.
bring to life
1. To cause to regain consciousness.
2. To put spirit into; animate.
3. To make lifelike.
come to life
To become animated; grow excited.
for dear life
Desperately or urgently: I ran for dear life when I saw the tiger.
for life
Till the end of one's life.
for the life of (one)
Though trying hard: For the life of me I couldn't remember his name.
not on your life Informal
Absolutely not; not for any reason whatsoever.
take (one's) life
To commit suicide.
take (one's) life in (one's) hands
To take a dangerous risk.
take (someone's) life
To commit murder.
the good life
A wealthy, luxurious way of living.
the life of Riley Informal
An easy life.
the life of the party Informal
An animated, amusing person who is the center of attention at a social gathering.
to save (one's) life
No matter how hard one tries: He can't ski to save his life.
true to life
Conforming to reality.

[Middle English, from Old English līf; see leip- in Indo-European roots.]

life

(laɪf)
n, pl lives (laɪvz)
1. (Biology) the state or quality that distinguishes living beings or organisms from dead ones and from inorganic matter, characterized chiefly by metabolism, growth, and the ability to reproduce and respond to stimuli.
2. the period between birth and death
3. a living person or being: to save a life.
4. the time between birth and the present time
5.
a. the remainder or extent of one's life
b. (as modifier): a life sentence; life membership; life subscription; life work.
6. (Law) short for life imprisonment
7. the amount of time that something is active or functioning: the life of a battery.
8. a present condition, state, or mode of existence: my life is very dull here.
9. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms)
a. a biography
b. (as modifier): a life story.
10.
a. a characteristic state or mode of existence: town life.
b. (as modifier): life style.
11. the sum or course of human events and activities
12. liveliness or high spirits: full of life.
13. a source of strength, animation, or vitality: he was the life of the show.
14. (Biology) all living things, taken as a whole: there is no life on Mars; plant life.
15. (Brewing) sparkle, as of wines
16. strong or high flavour, as of fresh food
17. (Art Terms) (modifier) arts drawn or taken from a living model: life drawing; a life mask.
18. physics another name for lifetime
19. (Games, other than specified) (in certain games) one of a number of opportunities of participation
20. as large as life informal real and living
21. larger than life in an exaggerated form
22. come to life
a. to become animate or conscious
b. to be realistically portrayed or represented
23. for dear life urgently or with extreme vigour or desperation
24. for the life of one though trying desperately
25. go for your life informal Austral and NZ an expression of encouragement
26. a matter of life and death a matter of extreme urgency
27. not on your life informal certainly not
28. the life and soul informal a person regarded as the main source of merriment and liveliness: the life and soul of the party.
29. the life of Riley informal an easy life
30. to the life (of a copy or image) resembling the original exactly
31. to save one's life informal in spite of all considerations or attempts: he couldn't play football to save his life.
32. the time of one's life a memorably enjoyable time
33. true to life faithful to reality
[Old English līf; related to Old High German lib, Old Norse līf life, body]

life

(laɪf)

n., pl. lives (līvz),
adj. n.
1. the general condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, a means of reproduction, and internal regulation in response to the environment.
2. the animate existence or period of animate existence of an individual: to risk one's life; a long life.
3. a corresponding state, existence, or principle of existence conceived of as belonging to the soul: eternal life.
4. the general or universal condition of human existence: Life is like that.
5. any specified period of animate existence: a couple in middle life.
6. the period of existence, activity, or effectiveness of something inanimate, as a machine, lease, or play.
7. a living being: Several lives were lost in the fire.
8. living things collectively: insect life.
9. a particular aspect of existence: an active sex life.
10. the course of existence or sum of experiences and actions that constitute a person's existence.
11. a biography: a life of Willa Cather.
12. animation; liveliness; spirit: The party was full of life.
13. resilience; elasticity.
14. the force that makes or keeps something alive; the vivifying or quickening principle.
15. a mode or manner of existence, as in the world of affairs or society.
17. anything or anyone considered to be as precious as life: She was his life.
18. a person or thing that enlivens: the life of the party.
19. effervescence or sparkle, as of wines.
20. pungency or strong, sharp flavor, as of substances when fresh or in good condition.
21. nature or any of the forms of nature as the model or subject of a work of art: drawn from life.
adj.
22. for or lasting a lifetime; lifelong: a life membership in a club; life imprisonment.
23. of or pertaining to animate existence: life functions.
24. working from nature or using a living model: a life drawing.
Idioms:
1. bring to life,
a. to restore to consciousness.
b. to make animated.
c. to imbue with lifelike characteristics.
2. come to life,
a. to recover consciousness.
b. to become animated.
c. to appear lifelike.
3. for dear life, with the most desperate effort possible.
4. for the life of one, even with the utmost effort.
5. get a life, to improve the quality of one's social and professional life: often used in the imperative to express impatience with someone's behavior.
6. not on your life, absolutely not.
7. take one's life in one's hands, to risk death knowingly.
8. to the life, in perfect imitation; exactly.
[before 900; Middle English lif(e); Old English līf, c. Old Frisian, Old Saxon, Old Norse līf, Old High German līb life, body; akin to live1]

life

(līf)
1. The property or quality that distinguishes living organisms from dead organisms and nonliving matter. Life is shown in an organism that has the ability to grow, carry on metabolism, respond to stimuli, and reproduce.
2. Living organisms considered as a group: plant life; marine life.

Life

See also biology; zoology

Biology. the production of living organisms from inanimate matter. Also called spontaneous generation. — abiogenetic, adj.
a state or condition in which life is absent. — abiotic, abiotical, adj.
a revival or return to a living state after apparent death. — anabiotic, adj.
immortality.
the study of the chemical processes that take place in living organisms. — biochemist, n. — biochemical, adj.
1. the process by which living organisms develop from other living organisms.
2. the belief that this process is the only way in which living organisms can develop. — biogenetic, biogenic, adj.
the science or study of all manner of life and living organisms. — biologist, n. — biological, adj.
the destruction of life, as by bacteria. — biolytic, adj.
1. the calculation of the probable extent of human lifespans.
2. the application to biology of mathematical and statistical theory and methods. — biometric, biometrical, adj.
that part of the earth’s surface where most forms of life exist, specifically those parts where there is water or atmosphere.
Philosophy. the theory or doctrine that all the phenomena of the universe, especially life, can ultimately be explained in terms of physics and chemistry and that the difference between organic and inorganic lies only in degree. Cf. vitalism. — mechanist, n. — mechanistic, adj.
ontogeny. — ontogenetic, ontogenetical, adj.
the life cycle, development, or developmental history of an organism. Also called ontogenesis. — ontogenic, adj.
Biology. the development of an egg or seed without fertilization. Also called unigenesis. — parthenogenetic, adj.
the branch of biology that studies the functions and vital processes of living organisms. — physiologist, n. — physiologic, physiological, adj.
abiogenesis.
asexual reproduction; parthenogenesis. — unigenetic, adj.
1. Philosophy. the doctrine that phenomena are only partly controlled by mechanistic forces and are in some measure self-determining.
2. Biology. the doctrine that the life in living organisms is caused and sustained by a vital principle that is distinct from all physical and chemical forces. Cf. mechanism. — vitalist, n. — vitalistic, adj.
Phrenology. 1. the love of life and fear of death.
2. the organ serving as the seat of instincts of self-preservation.
1. Philosophy. a doctrine that the phenomena of life are controlled by a vital principle, as Bergson’s élan vital.
2. a high regard for animal life.
3. a belief in animal magnetism. — zoist, n. — zoistic, adj.

Life

 

See Also: AGE; LIFE, DEFINED; MANKIND

  1. (It seemed to him that) all man’s life was like a tiny spurt of flame —Thomas Wolfe
  2. The art of living rightly is like all arts; it must be learned and practiced with incessant care —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  3. The eventful life has dates; it swells and pauses like a plot —Paul Theroux
  4. How ridiculous it [life] all seems … like a drop of water seen through a microscope, a single drop teeming with infusoria, or a speck of cheese full of mites invisible to the naked eye —Arthur Schopenhauer
  5. In life as in a football game, the principle to follow is: Hit the line hard —Theodore Roosevelt
  6. Let us play the game of life as sportsmen, pocketing our winnings with a smile, leaving our losings with a shrug —Jerome K. Jerome
  7. Life … empty as statistics are —Babette Deutsch
  8. Life … flat and stale, like an old glass of beer —Andre Dubus
  9. Life folds like a fan with a click —Herbert Read
  10. Life goes on forever like the gnawing of a mouse —Edna St. Vincent Millay
  11. Life had been like a cloud rainbowed by the sun —Barbara Reid
  12. Life imposes by brute energy, like inarticulate thunder; art catches the ear, among the far louder noises of experience, like an air artificially made by a discreet musician —Robert Louis Stevenson

    See Also: ART AND LITERATURE

  13. A life indifferent as a star —Randall Jarrell
  14. A life is composed of a thousand frail strands, like the rainbow tangle of telphone cables. Somehow, we make connections —Jean Thompson
  15. Life is shapeless as a glove —Kenneth Koch

    See Also: SHAPE

  16. Life … it slips through my hands like a fish —James Reiss

    See Also: ELUSIVENESS

  17. Life, like a child, laughs shaking its rattle of death as it runs —Rabindranath Tagore

    See Also: DEATH

  18. Life, like a good story, pursues its way from beginning to end in a firm and unbroken line —W. Somerset Maugham
  19. Life, like every other blessing, derives its value from its use alone —Samuel Johnson
  20. Life, like war, is a series of mistakes —F.W. Robertson
  21. Life often seems like a long shipwreck, of which the debris are friendship, glory and love —Madame de Staël
  22. Life’s bare as a bone —Virginia Woolf
  23. Life is so like a little strip of pavement over an abyss —Virginia Woolf
  24. Life should be embraced like a lover —Rose Tremain
  25. Life’s like an inn where travelers stay, some only breakfast and away; others to dinnerstop, and are full fed; the oldest only sup and go to bed —English epitath

    A variation of this, also found on a gravestone, is “Our life is nothing but a winter’s day.”

  26. Life swings like a pendulum backward and forward between pain and boredom —Arthur Schopenhauer
  27. A life that moved in spirals turned inward like the shell of a sea-snail —Malcolm Cowley
  28. Life was like [motion] pictures only in that it hardly every managed to be as exciting as its preview —Larry McMurtry
  29. Like a morning dream, life becomes more and more bright, the longer we live —Jean Paul Richter
  30. Like following life through creatures you dissect, you lose it in the moment you detect —Alexander Pope
  31. To live is like love, all reason is against it, and all healthy instincts for it —Samuel Butler
  32. Man’s journey through life is like that of a bee through blossoms —Yugoslav proverb
  33. A man’s life, like a piece of tapestry, is made up of many strands which interwoven make a pattern; to separate a single one and look at it alone, not only destroys the whole, but gives the strand itself a false value —Judge Learned Hand

    Judge Hand compared life to a piece of tapestry at the 1912 proceedings in memory of Mr. Justice Brandeis.

  34. Men deal with life as children with their play, who first misuse, then cast their toys away —William Cowper
  35. Moved … through her life, like a clumsy visitor in a museum —Susan Fromberg Schaeffer
  36. Much that goes on behind Life’s doors is not fixed like the pillars of a building nor preconceived like the structure of a symphony, nor calculable like the orbit of a star —Vicki Baum
  37. My life felt like a fragile silk chemise —Marge Piercy
  38. My life is like a stroll upon the beach, as near the ocean’s edge as I can go —Henry David Thoreau
  39. My life is like the autumn leaf that trembles in the moon’s pale ray —Richard Henry Wilde

    This begins the second stanza of the poem, My Life.

  40. My life is like the summer rose that opens to the morning sky, but before the shade of evening closes is scattered on the ground to die —Richard Henry Wilde

    Another simile from Wilde’s My Life, this one the opening line.

  41. My life loose as a frog’s —Maxine Kumin
  42. Our days on earth are as a shadow —The Holy Bible/Job
  43. (I worry that) our lives are like soap operas. We can go for months and not tune in to them, then six months later we look in and the same stuff is still going on —Jane Wagner
  44. Our lives are united like fruit in a bowl —W. H. Auden
  45. Our lives run like fingers over sandpaper —Jaroslav Seifert
  46. Perhaps like an ancient statue that has no arms our life, without deeds and heroes, has greater charms —Yehuda Amichai
  47. Sometimes we do not become adults until we suffer a good whacking loss, and our lives in a sense catch up with us and wash over us like a wave and everything goes —Richard Ford
  48. The art of life is more like the wrestler’s art than the dancer’s that it should stand ready and firm to meet onsets which are sudden and unexpected —Marcus Aurelius
  49. There was a dimension missing from his life, as though trees were flat and rooflines painted on the sky —Margaret Sutherland
  50. The vanity of human life is like a rivulet, constantly passing away, and yet constantly coming on —Alexander Pope
  51. Viewed from the summit of reason, all life looks like a malignant disease and the world like a madhouse —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  52. Wear life like an old pair of shoes that’s easy on my feet —Ben Ames Williams
  53. When the highest stake in the game of living, life itself, may not be risked … becomes as flat, as superficial as one of those American flirtations in which it is from the first understood that nothing is to happen, contrasted with a Continental love-affair in which both partners must constantly bear in mind the serious consequences —Sigmund Freud
  54. Would that life were like the shadow cast by a wall or a tree, but it is like the shadow of a bird in flight —Palestinian Talmud
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.life - a characteristic state or mode of livinglife - a characteristic state or mode of living; "social life"; "city life"; "real life"
being, beingness, existence - the state or fact of existing; "a point of view gradually coming into being"; "laws in existence for centuries"
ghetto - any segregated mode of living or working that results from bias or stereotyping; "the relative security of the gay ghetto"; "no escape from the ghetto of the typing pool"
2.life - the experience of being alivelife - the experience of being alive; the course of human events and activities; "he could no longer cope with the complexities of life"
experience - the content of direct observation or participation in an event; "he had a religious experience"; "he recalled the experience vividly"
3.life - the course of existence of an individual; the actions and events that occur in living; "he hoped for a new life in Australia"; "he wanted to live his own life without interference from others"
being, beingness, existence - the state or fact of existing; "a point of view gradually coming into being"; "laws in existence for centuries"
4.life - the condition of living or the state of being alivelife - the condition of living or the state of being alive; "while there's life there's hope"; "life depends on many chemical and physical processes"
being, beingness, existence - the state or fact of existing; "a point of view gradually coming into being"; "laws in existence for centuries"
eternal life, life eternal - life without beginning or end
skin - a person's skin regarded as their life; "he tried to save his skin"
survival, endurance - a state of surviving; remaining alive
5.life - the period during which something is functional (as between birth and death); "the battery had a short life"; "he lived a long and happy life"
period, period of time, time period - an amount of time; "a time period of 30 years"; "hastened the period of time of his recovery"; "Picasso's blue period"
birth - the time when something begins (especially life); "they divorced after the birth of the child"; "his election signaled the birth of a new age"
demise, dying, death - the time when something ends; "it was the death of all his plans"; "a dying of old hopes"
afterlife, hereafter - life after death
time of life - a period of time during which a person is normally in a particular life state
eld, age - a time of life (usually defined in years) at which some particular qualification or power arises; "she was now of school age"; "tall for his eld"
6.life - the period between birth and the present time; "I have known him all his life"
period, period of time, time period - an amount of time; "a time period of 30 years"; "hastened the period of time of his recovery"; "Picasso's blue period"
past - a earlier period in someone's life (especially one that they have reason to keep secret); "reporters dug into the candidate's past"
7.life - the period from the present until death; "he appointed himself emperor for life"
period, period of time, time period - an amount of time; "a time period of 30 years"; "hastened the period of time of his recovery"; "Picasso's blue period"
days, years - the time during which someone's life continues; "the monarch's last days"; "in his final years"
8.life - a living person; "his heroism saved a life"
individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul - a human being; "there was too much for one person to do"
9.life - animation and energy in action or expression; "it was a heavy play and the actors tried in vain to give life to it"
brio, invigoration, spiritedness, vivification, animation - quality of being active or spirited or alive and vigorous
pertness - quality of being lively and confident; "there was a pertness about her that attracted him"
airiness, delicacy - lightness in movement or manner
alacrity, briskness, smartness - liveliness and eagerness; "he accepted with alacrity"; "the smartness of the pace soon exhausted him"
vim, muscularity, vigor, vigour, energy - an imaginative lively style (especially style of writing); "his writing conveys great energy"; "a remarkable muscularity of style"
elan - enthusiastic and assured vigor and liveliness; "a performance of great elan and sophistication"
esprit - liveliness of mind or spirit
breeziness, jauntiness - a breezy liveliness; "a delightful breeziness of manner"
irrepressibility, buoyancy - irrepressible liveliness and good spirit; "I admired his buoyancy and persistent good humor"
high-spiritedness - exuberant liveliness
ebullience, enthusiasm, exuberance - overflowing with eager enjoyment or approval
pep, peppiness, ginger - liveliness and energy; "this tonic is guaranteed to give you more pep"
10.life - living things collectively; "the oceans are teeming with life"
animate thing, living thing - a living (or once living) entity
wildlife - all living things (except people) that are undomesticated; "chemicals could kill all the wildlife"
11.life - the organic phenomenon that distinguishes living organisms from nonliving ones; "there is no life on the moon"
organic phenomenon - (biology) a natural phenomenon involving living plants and animals
biology - characteristic life processes and phenomena of living organisms; "the biology of viruses"
aerobiosis - life sustained in the presence of air or oxygen
12.life - an account of the series of events making up a person's lifelife - an account of the series of events making up a person's life
account, chronicle, history, story - a record or narrative description of past events; "a history of France"; "he gave an inaccurate account of the plot to kill the president"; "the story of exposure to lead"
autobiography - a biography of yourself
hagiography - a biography that idealizes or idolizes the person (especially a person who is a saint)
profile - biographical sketch
13.life - a motive for living; "pottery was his life"
motivation, motive, need - the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behavior; "we did not understand his motivation"; "he acted with the best of motives"
14.life - a prison term lasting as long as the prisoner lives; "he got life for killing the guard"
prison term, sentence, time - the period of time a prisoner is imprisoned; "he served a prison term of 15 months"; "his sentence was 5 to 10 years"; "he is doing time in the county jail"

life

noun
1. being, existence, living, breath, entity, vitality, animation, viability, sentience a newborn baby's first minutes of life
2. living things, creatures, wildlife, organisms, living beings Is there life on Mars?
3. existence, being, lifetime, time, days, course, span, duration, continuance He spent the last fourteen years of his life in retirement.
4. way of life, situation, conduct, behaviour, life style How did you adjust to college life?
5. liveliness, activity, energy, spirit, go (informal), pep, sparkle, vitality, animation, vigour, verve, zest, high spirits, get-up-and-go (informal), oomph (informal), brio, vivacity The town itself was full of life and character.
6. biography, story, history, career, profile, confessions, autobiography, memoirs, life story It was his aim to write a life of John Paul Jones.
7. period of usefulness, existence, duration The repairs did not increase the life of the equipment.
8. spirit, heart, soul, essence, core, lifeblood, moving spirit, vital spark, animating spirit, élan vital (French) He's sucked the life out of her.
9. person, human, individual, soul, human being, mortal a war in which thousands of lives were lost
come to life rouse, revive, awaken, become active, become animate, show signs of life Poems which had seemed dull suddenly came to life.
for dear life (Informal) desperately, quickly, vigorously, urgently, intensely, for all you are worth I made for the raft and clung on for dear life.
give your life lay down your life, die, sacrifice yourself He gave his life to save his family.
that's life that's the way things are, that's it, that's the way the cookie crumbles (informal) 'It might never have happened if she hadn't gone back.' 'That's life.'
Related words
adjectives animate, vital
Quotations
"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,"
"That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,"
"And then is heard no more; it is a tale"
"Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,"
"Signifying nothing" [William Shakespeare Macbeth]
"The unexamined life is not worth living" [Socrates]
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards" [Søren Kierkegaard]
"Life is a comedy to those that think, and a tragedy to those that feel" [Horace Walpole Letter to Anne, Countess of Upper Ossory]
"Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot" [Charlie Chaplin]
"Life is long to the miserable, but short to the happy" [Publilius Syrus Sententiae]
"The essence of life is statistical improbability on a colossal scale" [Richard Dawkins The Blind Watchmaker]
"Life exists in the universe only because the carbon atom possesses certain exceptional qualities" [James Jeans The Mysterious Universe]
"Life is an abnormal business" [Eugène Ionesco The Rhinoceros]
"Life is fired at us point blank" [José Ortega y Gasset]
"There is only one minute in which you are alive, this minute - here and now. The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle. Which is exactly what it is - a miracle and unrepeatable" [Storm Jameson]
"Look to this day"
"For it is life, the very life of life" The Sufi
"In the time of your life, live - so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world - but shall smile at the infinite delight and mystery of it" [William Saroyan]
"Man is born to live, not to prepare for life" [Boris Pasternak Doctor Zhivago]
"What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the winter time; it is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset" [Crowfoot, a great hunter of the Blackfoot Last words]
"Oh, what a day-to-day business life is" [Jules Laforgue Complainte sur certains ennuis]
"Believe me! The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously!" [Friedrich Nietzsche Die fröhliche Wissenschaft]
"Life is just one damned thing after another" [Frank Ward O'Malley]
"Life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television" [Woody Allen Husbands and Wives]
"Lift not the painted veil which those who live"
"Call Life" [Percy Bysshe Shelley Sonnet]
"Life is one long process of getting tired" [Samuel Butler Notebooks]
"There is no wealth but life" [John Ruskin Unto This Last]
"Every man regards his own life as the New Year's Eve of time" [Jean Paul Richter Levana]
"Life isn't all beer and skittles" [Thomas Hughes Tom Brown's Schooldays]
"Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about" [Oscar Wilde Lady Windermere's Fan]
"The meaning of life is that it stops" [Franz Kafka]
"It is the essence of life that it exists for its own sake" [A.N. Whitehead Nature and Life]
"Old and young, we are all on our last cruise" [Robert Louis Stevenson Virginibus Puerisque]
"Human life is everywhere a state in which much is to be endured, and little to be enjoyed" [Dr. Johnson Rasselas]
"'Tis all a chequer-board of nights and days"
"Where Destiny with men for pieces plays;"
"Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays,"
"And one by one back in the closet lays" [Edward Fitzgerald The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám]
"Life is real! Life is earnest!"
"And the grave is not its goal;"
"Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"
"Was not spoken of the soul" [Henry Wadsworth Longfellow A Psalm of Life]
Proverbs
"Life begins at forty"

life

noun
1. A lively, emphatic, eager quality or manner:
Informal: ginger, pep, peppiness.
Slang: oomph.
2. A member of the human race:
3. The period during which someone or something exists:
day (often used in plural), duration, existence, lifetime, span, term.
Translations
حَيَاْةٌحَياهحَياه، أحْياءحَيَوِيَّهطريَقة حياه
живот
životdoživotílétaživotnostživotopis
livlivstidlivsvarigt fængseltilværelse=-liv
vivo
elamineelamiskõlblikelamisväärneelueluaeg
elämäeläminenelinkaarielinkautinenhenki
život
élet
hidup
æviævisaga-ár, -líf, -ævilíflíf, fjör
生命生存人生存在
생명
vita
atimti gyvybębūtybėsdraugijos sielagelbėjimo virvėgelbėjimosi diržas
biogrāfijadzīvedzīves aprakstsdzīves posmsdzīvesveids
viaţă
doživotieživot
življenje
življenježivotживот
livlivstid
ชีวิต
cuộc sốngđời sống

life

[laɪf]
A. N (lives (pl))
1. (= animate state) → vida f
life on earthla vida en la tierra
bird lifelos pájaros
there is not much insect life hereaquí hay pocos insectos
plant lifevida f vegetal, las plantas fpl
to bring sb back to liferesucitar or reanimar a algn
a matter of life and deathcosa f de vida o muerte
I don't believe in life after deathno creo en la vida después de la muerte
to risk life and limbjugarse la vida
2. (= existence) → vida f
the life of an antla vida de una hormiga
how's life?¿cómo te va (la vida)?, ¿qué hubo? (Mex, Chile)
I do have a life outside of work, you knowyo hago otras cosas en mi vida aparte de trabajar ¿sabes?
to begin life asempezar la vida como ...
life begins at 40la vida comienza a los 40
to depart this life (liter) → partir de esta vida
in early/later lifeen los años juveniles/maduras
I can't for the life of me rememberpor más que lo intento no puedo recordar
I clung on for dear lifeme agarré como si me fuera la vida en ello
she was fighting for her lifese debatía entre la vida y la muerte
run for your life!¡sálvese quien pueda!
to be on trial for one's lifeser acusado de un crimen capital
you gave me the fright of my life!¡qué susto me diste!
life goes on or must go onla vida sigue
to lay down one's lifedar su vida, entregar su vida
to lose one's lifeperder la vida
how many lives were lost?¿cuántas víctimas hubo?
three lives were lostmurieron tres
never in my lifeen mi vida
in the next lifeen el más allá, en la otra vida
to have a life of its own [object, machine] → tener vida propia
in real lifeen la vida real
to see lifever mundo
to spend one's life doing sthpasar la vida haciendo algo
to take sb's lifequitar la vida a algn
to take one's own lifequitarse la vida, suicidarse
you'll be taking your life in your hands if you climb up theresubir allí es jugarse la vida
at my time of lifea mi edad, con los años que yo tengo
his life won't be worth livingmás le valdría morirse
it's more than my life's worthsería jugarme la vida
see also bed A4
see also private C
see also save 1 A1
3. (= way of living)
country/city lifela vida de la ciudad/del campo
the good lifeuna vida agradable (Rel) → la vida santa
it's a good lifees una vida agradable
I've had a good lifela vida me ha tratado bien
it's a hard lifela vida es muy dura
to make a new life for o.s to start a new lifecomenzar una vida nueva
to live one's own lifeser dueño de su propia vida
to lead a quiet lifellevar una vida tranquila
see also Riley
4. (in exclamations)
get a life!¡espabílate y haz algo!
(upon) my life! (o.f.) → ¡Dios mío!
not on your life!¡ni hablar!
such is life!, that's life!¡así es la vida!
this is the life!¡esto sí que es vida!, ¡esto es jauja!
what a life! (= bad) → ¡qué vida ésta!; (= good) → ¡vaya vida!, ¡eso sí que es vivir bien!
5. (= liveliness) → vida f
his acting brought the character to lifesu actuación dio vida al personaje
she brought the party to lifeanimó la fiesta
to come to lifeanimarse
to put or breathe new life into sth/sbinfundir nueva vida a algo/algn
you need to put a bit of life into ittienes que ponerle un poco de garra
the life and soul of the partyel alma de la fiesta
6. (= lifespan) [of person] → vida f; [of licence] → vigencia f, validez f; [of battery] → vida f, duración f
during the life of this governmentdurante el mandato de este gobierno
friends for lifeamigos mpl para siempre
scarred for lifecon una cicatriz de por vida
a job for lifeun trabajo para toda la vida
these birds mate for lifeestas aves tienen una sola pareja en su vida
it was her life's workfue el trabajo de toda su vida
7. (= life imprisonment)
to do lifecumplir una condena de cadena or reclusión perpetua
to get life, be sentenced to lifeser condenado a cadena or reclusión perpetua
8. (Art)
to paint from lifepintar del natural
true to lifefiel a la realidad
9. (= biography) → vida f
10. (US) [of prostitute] she's in the lifehace la calle, es una mujer de la vida
B. CPD life and death struggle Nlucha f a vida o muerte
life annuity Npensión f or anualidad f vitalicia
life assurance Nseguro m de vida
life class N (Art) → clase f de dibujo al natural
life coach N profesional encargado de mejorar la situación laboral y personal de sus clientes
life cycle Nciclo m vital
life expectancy Nesperanza f de vida
life force Nfuerza f vital
life form Nforma f de vida
Life Guards NPL (Brit) (Mil) regimiento de caballería
life history N [of person] → (historia f de la) vida f (hum, iro) → vida f y milagros mpl
the life history of the salmon(la historia de) la vida del salmón
life imprisonment Ncadena f perpetua
life insurance N = life assurance life interest Nusufructo m vitalicio
life jacket Nchaleco m salvavidas
life membership N to take out a life membershipinscribirse como miembro vitalicio or de por vida
life peer N (Brit) (Parl) miembro de la Cámara de los Lores de carácter no hereditario
life preserver N (Brit) → cachiporra f (US) → chaleco m salvavidas
life president Npresidente mf de por vida
life raft Nbalsa f salvavidas
life sciences NPLciencias fpl de la vida
life sentence Ncondena f a perpetuidad
life span N [of person] → vida f; [of product] → vida f útil
life story Nbiografía f

life

[ˈlaɪf] [lives] (pl)
n
(= existence) → vie f
her last hours of life → les dernières heures de sa vie
Your life is in danger → Votre vie est en danger.
Life had not been kind to her → La vie n'avait pas été tendre avec elle.
to risk one's life → risquer sa vie
She had risked her life to save mine → Elle avait risqué sa vie pour sauver la mienne.
to spend one's life doing sth → passer sa vie à faire qch
People spend their lives worrying about money → Les gens passent leur vie à se soucier d'argent.
to fight for one's life → lutter pour sa vie
to take sb's life → ôter la vie à qn
to take one's own life → s'ôter la vie
to be scarred for life → être marqué(e) à vie
to be sent to prison for life → être condamné(e) à la prison à vie
life after death → la vie après la mort
life's too short → la vie est trop courte
life's too short for ... → la vie est trop courte pour ...
to hang on for dear life (lit, fig)se cramponner comme si sa vie en dépendait
I couldn't do it to save my life → je serais tout à fait incapable de le faire
(= way of living) → vie f
country life → la vie rurale, la vie à la campagne
city life → la vie urbaine
one's personal life → sa vie personnelle
My personal life has had to take second place to my career → Ma vie personnelle a dû passer après ma carrière.
one's working life → sa vie professionnelle
(= liveliness) [+ person, place] → vie f
to be full of life [person, place] → être plein(e) de vie
to come to life [party, social occasion] → s'animer
(= living things) → vie f
Is there life on Mars? → Y a-t-il de la vie sur Mars?
some useful facts about animal and plant life → des données utiles sur la vie animale et végétale
(= lifespan) [equipment, machine] → durée f de vie
The average life of a dishwasher is 10 years → La durée de vie moyenne d'un lave-vaisselle est de 10 ans.
(as opposed to art) true to life → réaliste, fidèle à la réalité
to paint from life → peindre d'après nature
(= life sentence) to sentence sb to life → condamner qn à la prison à vie
to get life → être condamné(e) à la prison à vie
modif [membership, subscription, ban] → à vielife-affirming [ˈlaɪfəfɜːrmɪŋ] adj [film, book, comedy] → porteur/euse d'un message de vielife-and-death [ˌlaɪfəndˈdɛθ] life-or-death [ˌlaɪfərˈdɛθ] modif [decision] → vital(e)
a life-and-death situation → une question de vie ou de mortlife-and-death situation n
We're dealing with a life-and-death situation here → Nous avons là une situation dans laquelle la vie de quelqu'un est en danger.life annuity npension f, rente f viagèrelife assurance n (British) = life insurance

life

n pl <lives>
Leben nt; bird/plant lifedie Vogel-/Pflanzenwelt; there is not much insect life herehier gibt es nicht viele Insekten; drawn from lifelebensnah; to draw from life (Art) → nach dem Leben zeichnen; to the lifelebensecht; the battle resulted in great loss of lifebei der Schlacht kamen viele ums Leben; this is a matter of life and deathhier geht es um Leben und Tod; a life and death struggleein Kampf auf Leben und Tod; life after deathdas Leben nach dem Tod; life begins at 40das Leben fängt mit 40 (erst richtig) an; to be tired of lifedes Lebens überdrüssig sein; life goes ondas Leben geht weiter; to bring somebody back to lifejdn wiederbeleben, jdn ins Leben zurückrufen; his book brings history to lifesein Buch lässt die Geschichte lebendig werden; to come to life (fig)lebendig werden; I’m the sort of person who comes to life in the eveningsich bin ein Typ, der erst abends munter wird; after half an hour the discussion came to lifenach einer halben Stunde kam Leben in die Diskussion; to put new life into somebodyjdm wieder Auftrieb geben; for dear lifeverzweifelt; they swam for dear lifesie schwammen um ihr Leben; they looked at him in the oxygen tent fighting for dear lifesie sahen, wie er im Sauerstoffzelt um sein Leben kämpfte; at my time of lifein meinem Alter; marriage should be for lifeeine Ehe sollte fürs Leben geschlossen werden; he’s got a job for lifeer hat eine Stelle auf Lebenszeit; the murderer was imprisoned for lifeder Mörder wurde zu lebenslänglicher Freiheitsstrafe verurteilt; he’s doing life (for murder) (inf)er sitzt lebenslänglich (wegen Mord) (inf); he got life (inf)er hat lebenslänglich gekriegt (inf)
(= individual life) how many lives were lost?wie viele (Menschen) sind ums Leben gekommen?; the lives of the prisonersdas Leben der Gefangenen; I’ve got a new man in my lifein meinem Leben gibt es einen neuen Mann; to take somebody’s lifejdn umbringen; to take one’s own lifesich (dat)das Leben nehmen; to save somebody’s life (lit)jdm das Leben retten; (fig)jdn retten; I couldn’t do it to save my lifeich kann es beim besten Willen nicht; the church is my lifedie Kirche ist mein ganzes Leben; to rule somebody’s lifejds Leben bestimmen; the suspected murderer is on trial for his lifefür den Mordverdächtigen geht es bei dem Prozess um Leben und Tod; in the next lifeim nächsten Leben; early in life, in early lifein frühen Jahren; later in life, in later lifein späteren Jahren, später im Leben; she leads a busy lifebei ihr ist immer etwas los; she began (her working) life as a teachersie begann ihr Berufsleben als Lehrerin; the book started life as a screenplaydas Buch war ursprünglich ein Drehbuch; all his lifesein ganzes Leben lang; I’ve never been to London in my lifeich war in meinem ganzen Leben noch nicht in London; to fight for one’s lifeum sein Leben kämpfen; run for your lives!rennt um euer Leben!; it gave me the fright of my lifees hat mich zu Tode erschreckt; I can’t for the life of me … (inf)ich kann beim besten Willen nicht; never in my life have I heard such nonsenseich habe mein Lebtag noch nicht or noch nie im Leben so einen Unsinn gehört; not on your life! (inf)ich bin doch nicht verrückt! (inf); would you ever disobey him? — not on your life! (inf)würdest du je seine Befehle missachten? — nie im Leben!; get a life! (inf)sonst hast du keine Probleme? (inf); to have a lifeetwas vom Leben haben; to have a life of one’s ownsein eigenes Leben führen; it seemed to have a life of its ownes scheint seinen eigenen Willen zu haben; he is a good/bad life (Insur) → er ist ein niedriges/hohes Risiko
(= the world, social activity) to see lifedie Welt sehen; there isn’t much life here in the eveningshier ist abends nicht viel Leben or nicht viel los
(= liveliness)Leben nt; those children are full of life!diese Kinder stecken voller Leben or sind sehr lebhaft!; the city centre (Brit) or center (US) was full of lifeim Stadtzentrum ging es sehr lebhaft zu; he’s still got so much life in himer ist noch so vital or steckt noch voller Leben; there’s life in the old girl yet (inf)sie ist noch schwer aktiv (inf); (of car)die Kiste bringts noch (sl); he is the life and soul (Brit) or life (US) of every partyer bringt Leben in jede Party; wherever John goes, he wants to be the life and soul (Brit) or life (US) of the partyJohn will überall im Mittelpunkt stehen
(= way of life)Leben nt; village lifedas Leben auf dem Dorf; this is the life!ja, ist das ein Leben!; what a life!was für ein Leben!; such is life, that’s lifeso ist das Leben; it’s a good lifees ist ein schönes Leben; the good lifedas süße Leben
(= useful or active life)Lebensdauer f; during the life of the present Parliamentwährend der Legislaturperiode des gegenwärtigen Parlaments; there’s not much life left in the battery, the battery’s nearing the end of its lifedie Batterie machts nicht mehr lange (inf)
(= biography)Biografie f; (of saint, king etc)Lebensbeschreibung f

life

:
life annuity
nLeib- or Lebensrente f
life assurance
n (Brit) → Lebensversicherung f
lifebelt
lifeblood
nBlut nt; (fig)Lebensnerv m; to drain somebody’s life (fig)jdn ausbluten lassen
lifeboat
n (from shore) → Rettungsboot nt; (from ship also) → Beiboot nt
lifebuoy
nRettungsring m
life class
n (Art) → Kurs mim Modellzeichnen
life coach
nLebensberater(in) m(f)
life cycle
nLebenszyklus m
life-enhancing
adjbereichernd
life expectancy
life force
nLebenskraft f
life-giving
adjLeben spendend; life aid to poor countrieslebensnotwendige Hilfe für arme Länder
lifeguard
n
(on beach) → Rettungsschwimmer(in) m(f); (in baths) → Bademeister(in) m(f)
(Mil) → Leibwache f
life history
nLebensgeschichte f; (Biol) → Entwicklungsgeschichte f; the life of the salmonder Lebenskreislauf des Lachses
life imprisonment
life instinct
n (Psych) → Lebenstrieb m
life insurance
life interest
n (Jur) → lebenslänglicher Niesbrauch
life jacket
nSchwimmweste f

life

:
lifelike
adjlebensecht; imitation alsonaturgetreu
lifeline
n
Rettungsleine f; (of diver)Signalleine f; (fig)Rettungsanker m; the telephone is a life for many old peopledas Telefon ist für viele alte Leute lebenswichtig; in doing this they risked severing their financial lifedadurch haben sie riskiert, dass ihnen der Geldhahn zugedreht wird
(Palmistry) → Lebenslinie f
lifelong
adjlebenslang; they are life friendssie sind schon ihr Leben lang Freunde; he’s my life friender war schon immer mein Freund; we became life friendswir wurden Freunde fürs Leben; his life devotion to the causedie Sache, in deren Dienst er sein Leben gestellt hat; her life fear of waterihre angeborene Angst vor Wasser
life membership
nMitgliedschaft fauf Lebenszeit
life net
nSprungtuch nt
life-or-death
adj life struggleKampf mauf Leben und Tod
life peer
nPeer mauf Lebenszeit
life preserver
n
(Brit) → Totschläger m
(US) → Schwimmweste f

life

:
life raft
nRettungsfloß nt
life-saver
n
Lebensretter(in) m(f); (= lifeguard)Rettungsschwimmer(in) m(f)
(fig)Retter min der Not; it was a real life!das hat mich gerettet
life-saving
nLebensrettung f; (= saving people from drowning)Rettungsschwimmen nt
adj techniques, apparatuszur Lebensrettung; phone call, drug, operation, treatmentlebensrettend; drop of whiskyrettend; life certificateRettungsschwimmabzeichen nt
life science
n Medizin, Biologie etc
life sentence
life-size(d)
adjin Lebensgröße, lebensgroß
lifespan
n (of people)Lebenserwartung f; (of animals, plants)Leben (→ sdauer f) nt
life story
lifestyle
nLebensstil m

life

:
life table
nSterblichkeitstabelle f
life-threatening
lifetime
n
Lebenszeit f; (of battery, machine, animal)Lebensdauer f; once in a lifeeinmal im Leben; during or in my lifewährend meines Lebens; in his life there were no buseszu seiner Zeit gab es keine Busse; the chance of a lifeeine einmalige Chance, DIE Chance (inf); a life’s devotion to charityein Leben, das der Wohltätigkeit gewidmet ist; the work of a lifeein Lebenswerk nt
(fig)Ewigkeit f
life vest
lifework
nLebenswerk nt

life

[laɪf]
1. n (lives (pl))
a. (gen) → vita
life on earth → vita terrestre or sulla terra
bird life → gli uccelli
a matter of life and death → una questione di vita o di morte
to bring sb back to life → riportare in vita qn
to come to life → rianimarsi, riprendere vita
b. (existence) → vita; (of battery) → durata
to spend one's life doing sth → passare la vita a fare qc
during the life of this government → durante questo governo, nel corso di questa amministrazione
to begin life as → cominciare come
to be sent to prison for life → essere condannato/a all'ergastolo
in early life → in gioventù
in later life → nella maturità
a quiet/hard life → una vita tranquilla/dura
country/city life → vita di campagna/di città
how's life? (fam) → come va (la vita)?
that's life → così è la vita
to lose one's life → perdere la vita
three lives were lost → tre persone sono morte or hanno perso la vita
to take one's own life (euph) (commit suicide) → togliersi la vita
a danger to life and limb → un pericolo mortale
to risk life and limb → rischiare l'osso del collo
you'll be taking your life in your hands if you climb up there (fam) → rischi la pelle se ti arrampichi lassù
his life won't be worth living → rimpiangerà di esser nato
not on your life! (fam) → neanche morto!, fossi matto!
to see life → vedere il mondo
to run for one's life → correre per mettersi in salvo
I can't for the life of me imagine ... (fam) → non riesco assolutamente a immaginare...
true to life → fedele alla realtà
to paint from life → dipingere dal vero
c. (liveliness, of place) → vita, animazione f; (of person) → vita, vivacità
the life and soul of the party → l'anima della festa
to put or breathe new life into (person) → ridare entusiasmo a (project, area) → ridare nuova vita a
2. adj (for life, membership) → a vita; (in life, chances) → di vita

life

(laif) plural lives (laivz) noun
1. the quality belonging to plants and animals which distinguishes them from rocks, minerals etc and things which are dead. Doctors are fighting to save the child's life.
2. the period between birth and death. He had a long and happy life.
3. liveliness. She was full of life and energy.
4. a manner of living. She lived a life of ease and idleness.
5. the period during which any particular state exists. He had many different jobs during his working life.
6. living things. It is now believed that there may be life on Mars; animal life.
7. the story of a life. He has written a life of Churchill.
8. life imprisonment. He was given life for murder.
ˈlifeless adjective
1. dead. a lifeless body.
2. not lively; uninteresting. The actress gave a lifeless performance.
ˈlifelike adjective
like a living person, animal etc. The statue was very lifelike; a lifelike portrait.
life-and-ˈdeath adjective
serious and deciding between life and death. a life-and-death struggle.
ˈlifebelt noun
a ring or belt filled with air or made of a material which floats, for keeping a person afloat.
ˈlifeboat noun
a boat for saving shipwrecked people.
ˈlifebuoy noun
a buoy intended to support a person in the water till he can be rescued.
ˈlife-cycle noun
the various stages through which a living thing passes. the life-cycle of the snail.
life expectancy
the (average) length of time a person can expect to live.
ˈlifeguard noun
a person employed to protect and rescue swimmers at a swimming-pool, beach etc.
ˈlife-jacket noun
a sleeveless jacket filled with material that will float, for keeping a person afloat.
ˈlifeline noun
a rope for support in dangerous operations or thrown to rescue a drowning person.
ˈlifelong adjective
lasting the whole length of a life. a lifelong friendship.
ˈlife-saving noun
the act or skill of rescuing people from drowning. The boy is being taught life-saving.
ˈlife-size(d) adjective, adverb
(of a copy, drawing etc) as large as the original. a life-sized statue.
ˈlifetime noun
the period of a person's life. He saw many changes in his lifetime.
as large as life
in person; actually. I went to the party and there was John as large as life.
bring to life
to make lively or interesting. His lectures really brought the subject to life.
come to life
to become lively or interesting. The play did not come to life until the last act.
for life
until death. They became friends for life.
the life and soul of the party
a person who is very active, enthusiastic, amusing etc at a party.
not for the life of me
not even if it was necessary in order to save my life. I couldn't for the life of me remember his name!
not on your life!
certainly not!. `Will you get married?' `Not on your life!'
take life
to kill. It is a sin to take life.
take one's life
to kill oneself.
take one's life in one's hands
to take the risk of being killed.
to the life
exactly (like). When he put on that uniform, he was Napoleon to the life.

life

حَيَاْةٌ život liv Leben ζωή vida elämä vie život vita 生命 생명 leven liv życie vida жизнь liv ชีวิต yaşam cuộc sống 生命

life

n. vida, modo de vivir, existencia;
___ expectancyexpectativa de ___, promedio de ___;
___ insuranceseguro de ___;
___ preservers, ___ support devicesaparatos para prolongar la ___;
___ -saving measuremedida para prolongar o salvar la ___;
___ spanlongevidad;
___ -threateningque puede causar la muerte.

life

n vida; for — de por vida; for the rest of your — por el resto de su vida; — expectancy expectativa or esperanza de vida; life-saving que salva vidas, que puede salvar la vida; life-threatening potencialmente mortal, que pone en peligro la vida; sex — vida sexual; social — vida social
References in classic literature ?
It was a cheerful, hopeful letter, full of lively descriptions of camp life, marches, and military news, and only at the end did the writer's heart over-flow with fatherly love and longing for the little girls at home.
It was his notion that the moment one of the people took one of the truths to himself, called it his truth, and tried to live his life by it, he became a grotesque and the truth he embraced became a falsehood.
You can see for yourself how the old man, who had spent all of his life writing and was filled with words, would write hundreds of pages concerning this matter.
Stranger-originated and investor-originated life insurance is a fast-growing and huge piece of the overall life settlement market, said North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman, chairman of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Life Insurance and Annuities Committee.
I was fixed on the traditional notion of life insurance to [pay for] my burial.
In the nation's capital, the March for Life began at the National Mall and ended at the Supreme Court building, highlighting the current battle in the U.
Most career counselors will credit Donald Super with their understanding of life roles.
This article explains how CPAs can use a third option--a life settlement--to help eligible clients and employers dispose of unneeded life insurance policies now for more than the cash value rather than wait for the policy to pay off at the insured's death.
A few days before the child was due, she was ready to give her life in order to save that of her child: "If you must decide between me and the child, do not hesitate.
The life settlement industry has created a secondary market for acquiring life insurance policies from qualifying policyholders, who receive an offer guaranteed to exceed the cash value.
Camp professionals can identify these general attributes in many of their staff, but it is the Life Changers among them who consistently act in a manner that significantly redefines the boundaries of our expectations.
The MRD for any year is the value of the IRA as of December 31 of the previous year divided by the applicable life expectancy.