- life [ laıf ] (plural lives [ laıvz ] ) noun ***▸ 1 time from birth to death▸ 2 way of living, experience▸ 3 state of being alive▸ 4 living things▸ 5 time something exists/lasts▸ 6 activity/excitement▸ 7 in games▸ 8 life imprisonment▸ + PHRASES1. ) count or uncount the period of time from someone's birth until their death:She devoted her life to helping others.He had a long and happy life.in (all) your life: I have never been so disappointed in my life.all your life: She's lived in California all her life.early life (=the time when you are a child): He spent his early life in Malaysia.in later life (=toward the end of someone's life): It was in later life that he wrote some of his best poems.late in life (=at a time in your life that is later than usual): She got married late in life.for life (=continuing through your whole life): The accident left her scarred for life.working life (=the part of your life when you work): She devoted most of her working life to publishing.adult life (=the time when you are an adult): He lived most of his adult life in prison.spend your life: Don't spend your whole life worrying about money.2. ) count usually singular your particular way of living and the experiences you have:His life revolves around his children.It was an event that would change his life forever.lead a happy/normal/interesting etc. life: I just want to be able to lead a normal life.a hard life (=a difficult life): She looks like someone who's had a very hard life.a ) count or uncount the events and experiences that are typical of a particular place or group of people:I had no idea what life with a baby would be like.city/farm/prison/university etc. life: Escape from the bustle and noise of city life for a while.the life of someone: The life of a movie star is not always a glamorous one.married life (=the time when you are married or the life that you have): How's married life treating you?b ) uncount the events and experiences that happen to people in general:He's a person who really loves life.His mother has a great enthusiasm for life.see life (=experience a lot of different things): You really see life in my job.3. ) count or uncount the state of being alive:He believed his life was in danger.claim lives (=kill people): The disease is still claiming thousands of lives every year.risk your life: They risk their lives to protect the people they love.put your/someone's life at risk: They are putting lives at risk with their irresponsible behavior.4. ) uncount living things such as plants and animals:We are now beginning to believe that there may be life on other planets.animal/plant/insect/bird life: the great variety of bird life in the area5. ) count the period of time during which something exists or continues:life of: During the life of this government, unemployment has increased by 5%.a ) the period of time during which something is still good enough to be used:life of: The average life of a television is about ten years.6. ) uncount interesting or exciting qualities:There isn't much life in the earlier stories.a ) the amount of activity or excitement in a place:There's not much life in this little town.7. ) count in a game, one of a number of times that you can lose but still continue to play:lose a life: When you've lost three lives, you're out.8. ) uncount INFORMAL LIFE IMPRISONMENT:get life: You'd expect him to get life for such a serious crime.bring something to lifeto make something exciting or interesting:a book that brings the subject to lifecome to lifeto start to be exciting or interesting:a new TV series in which history really comes to lifefrom lifeif you draw, paint, etc. from life, you use a real object or person as your subject instead of copying a photograph or pictureget a life SPOKENused for telling someone that they are boringlay down your life LITERARYto die as a result of doing something good for other peoplethe life and soul (of the party) INFORMALsomeone who is very lively at social eventslife begins at forty HUMOROUSpeople start to enjoy life when they reach the age of fortylife goes on SPOKENused for encouraging someone who has had a bad experience to continue to live their normal lifelife's too short SPOKENused for saying that you should not waste time doing things that are not importantlose your lifeto die, especially in an accident or a war:Thousands lost their lives in the first day of fighting.the man/woman in your life OFTEN HUMOROUSyour boyfriend, husband, girlfriend, or wife:an ideal gift for the woman in your lifethe next lifean existence after deathnot for the life of me SPOKENused for emphasizing that you cannot remember or understand something at all:I cannot for the life of me see why he married her.not on your life SPOKENused for telling someone that you will certainly not do somethingof your lifeused for emphasizing that something is the best, worst, etc. that you have ever experienced:I had the fright of my life when I saw him there.put your life in someone's handsto put yourself in a situation where someone else is responsible for what happens to you or for whether you live or diequality of lifehow comfortable or enjoyable someone's life is:Clean drinking water has greatly improved the villagers' quality of life.real lifereal situations that real people experience, not the situations and events in stories, movies, etc.:in real life: We all know this would never happen in real life.risk/sacrifice life and limbto be put or put yourself in physical danger:He has risked life and limb to bring us these news reports.save someone's lifeto do something that prevents someone from dyingtake someone's lifeto kill someonetake your own lifeto kill yourself deliberatelythat's life or such is lifeused for encouraging someone to accept that bad things happen to everyone, not just themthis is the life SPOKENsomething you say when you are enjoying yourself and not workingthe time of your lifea very enjoyable experience:The children were having the time of their lives.true to lifeshowing how life really is:Does it matter to audiences if the storyline isn't true to life?way of lifethe way in which someone lives:There was a whole way of life in this country that he would never understand.=> FRIGHTEN, MATTER1
Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.