W1S1 [laıf] n plural lives [laıvz]
1¦(time somebody is alive)¦
2¦(state of being alive)¦
3¦(way somebody lives)¦
4¦(particular situation/job)¦
5 social/personal/sex etc life
6¦(human existence)¦
7¦(time when something exists/works)¦
8¦(living things)¦
9 be somebody's (whole) life
10 life and death
14 come to life/roar into life/splutter into life etc
15 make life difficult/easier etc
16 the life and soul of the party
17 life and limb
18 get a life!
19 that's life
20 life's a bitch
21 this is the life
22 the shock/surprise/game etc of somebody's life
23 how's life?
24 life goes on
25 a life of its own
26 cannot for the life of me
27 life's too short
28 not on your life
29 the woman/man/girl etc in your life
32 frighten/scare the life out of somebody
33 there's life in the old dog yet
34 live/lead/have the life of Riley
36 the next life
[: Old English; Origin: lif]
the period of time when someone is alive
Learning goes on throughout life.
You have your whole life ahead of you.
in sb's life
For the first time in my life I was happy.
I've never been so embarrassed in my life!
I've known John all my life (=since I was born) .
His main aim in life was to have fun.
It was one of the best days of my life .
The accident scarred him for life (=for the rest of his life) .
She knew she'd feel guilty for the rest of her life .
Raj spent his life caring for others.
Bonington spent his entire adult life in France.
We don't know much about the poet's early life (=when he was young) .
Poor diet can lead to a whole range of diseases in later life (=when you are older) .
She married late in life (=when she was fairly old) .
He's a life member (=continuing until he dies) of the club.
2.) ¦(STATE OF BEING ALIVE)¦ [U and C]
the state of being alive
The right to life is the most basic of human rights.
The riots presented a considerable risk to life and property.
Danny was a cheerful little boy who loved life.
A seatbelt could save your life .
Two firefighters risked their lives to save the children.
Thousands lost their lives (=died) in the earthquake.
an explosion which claimed the lives of (=killed) at least 170 miners
He has risked life and limb (=has done very dangerous things) to photograph some of the world's most dangerous animals.
Cuts to the ambulance service could cost lives (=people could die) .
Misuse of the equipment could endanger the lives of staff and students.
He owes his life to (=he is still alive because of) the prompt action of a neighbour.
take your (own) life
(=deliberately kill yourself)
There's no evidence that she intended to take her own life.
take sb's life
(=kill someone)
No-one has the right to take another's life.
be fighting for your life
(=be so ill or injured that you might die)
A resident was fighting for his life yesterday, having escaped the blaze.
give your life/lay down your life
(=die in order to save other people or because of a strong belief)
He gave his life for the cause of freedom
take your life in your (own) hands
(=put yourself in a very dangerous situation)
You take your life in your hands every time you cross this road.
3.) ¦(WAY SOMEBODY LIVES)¦ [C usually singular]
the way you live your life, and what you do and experience during it
lead/live/have a ..... life
The operation should enable Bobby to lead a normal life.
She just wanted to live a quiet life.
Having a baby changes your life completely.
The family moved to Australia to start a new life .
Ken's whole life revolved around surfing (=that was the main interest and purpose of his life) .
You shouldn't let your boyfriend rule your life (=control and affect everything you do) .
My grandmother had a hard life (=a life full of problems) .
She's led a very sheltered life (=a life in which you have been protected from unpleasant things) .
a life of crime/poverty/misery etc
He had been drawn into a life of crime.
a) the experiences, activities, and ways of living that are typical of being in a particular job, situation, society etc
Why do so few women enter political life?
the British way of life
city/country/village etc life
Noise has become one of the main pollutants of modern city life.
army/student/college etc life
He missed the routine of army life.
Are you enjoying married life ?
b) the time in your life when you are doing a particular job, are in a particular situation etc
sb's life as sth
Now a celebrity chef, he rarely talks about his life as an army cook.
Sara admits to having affairs throughout her married life .
Most of his working life was spent in the shipyards.
5.) social/personal/sex etc life
the activities in your life relating to your friends, your family, sex etc
I don't need advice about my love life.
traditional views of family life
Children need a caring and happy home life.
human existence, considered as a variety of experiences and activities
My Aunt Julia had very little experience of life.
Life has a way of changing the best of plans.
For some people, religion gives life a meaning.
daily/everyday life
the frustrations and disappointments of everyday life
I try to see the funny side of life .
7.) ¦(TIME WHEN SOMETHING EXISTS/WORKS)¦ [C usually singular]
a) the period of time during which something happens or exists
life of
The issues will not be resolved during the life of the present parliament.
start/begin/come to life as sth
The building began life as a monastery.
b) the period of time during which something is still good enough to use
life of
What's the average life of a passenger aircraft?
Careful use can extend the life of your washing machine.
a) the quality of being alive that people, animals, plants etc have and that objects and dead things do not have
Ben felt her neck for a pulse or any other sign of life .
In the springtime, everything comes to life again.
b) living things, such as people, animals, or plants
Is there life on other planets?
human/animal/plant/bird etc life
The island is rich in bird life.
9.) be sb's (whole) life
to be the most important thing or person to someone
Music is Laura's whole life.
10.) life and death also life or death
used for emphasizing that a situation, decision etc is extremely urgent and important, especially because someone is at risk of dying
Don't call me unless it's a matter of life and death .
a life or death decision
A doctor's job involves life and death situations.
11.) ¦(GAME)¦
a chance in a game, especially a computer game, in which you can be defeated or do something wrong and can still continue playing
He's up to level five and still has three lives left.
12.) ¦(ACTIVITY)¦[U]
activity or movement
The house was quiet and there was no sign of life .
She was always so cheerful and full of life .
a quality of being interesting or exciting
Try to put some life into your writing.
The game really came to life after a magnificent goal from Beckham.
A gifted teacher can really bring literature to life for his or her students.
14.) come to life/roar into life/splutter into life etc
to suddenly start working
Finally the car spluttered into life.
15.) make life difficult/easier etc
to make it difficult, easier etc to do something
Surely computers are supposed to make life easier, not more complicated!
make life difficult/easier etc for
Why make life difficult for yourself?
16.) the life and soul of the party
BrE the life of the party AmE
someone who enjoys social occasions and is fun and exciting to be with
17.) life and limb
formal your life and physical health - used especially when this is threatened in some way
She risks life and limb every day in her job as an undercover investigator.
18.) get a life!
spoken used to tell someone that you think they are boring and should find more exciting things to do
You guys should just stop moaning and get a life!
19.) that's life also such is life
spoken used to say that something is disappointing but you have to accept it
Oh well, that's life!
20.) life's a bitch
spoken not polite used to say that bad things happen in life
21.) this is the life
spoken used when you are relaxing and doing something you enjoy
Ah, this is the life! Lying on the beach, sipping cool drinks.
22.) the shock/surprise/game etc of sb's life
the biggest shock or surprise, the best game etc that someone has ever had
I had the surprise of my life when I saw John standing there.
have the time of your life attime1 (41)
23.) how's life?
spoken used to ask someone if they are well, what they have been doing etc
Hi Bob! How's life?
How's life been with you?
24.) life goes on
spoken used to say that you must continue to live a normal life even when something sad or disappointing has happened
We both miss him, but life goes on.
25.) a life of its own
a) if something has a life of its own, it seems to move or work by itself
The ball seemed to have acquired a life of its own.
b) if something has a life of its own, it exists and develops without depending on other things
Slowly but surely, the project is taking on a life of its own .
26.) cannot for the life of me
spoken used to say that you cannot remember or understand something even when you try hard
I couldn't for the life of me remember his name.
27.) life's too short
spoken used to say that you should not waste time doing something or worrying about something
Forget about it. Life's too short.
life's too short for
Life's too short for moping about.
life's too short to do sth
Life's too short to bear grudges.
28.) not on your life
spoken used as a reply to a question or suggestion to say that you definitely will not do something
'Are you going to go and work for him then?' 'Not on your life!'
29.) the woman/man/girl etc in your life
the woman or man you are married to or are having a relationship with - used especially in advertisements
This is the ideal gift for the man in your life.
also life imprisonment
the punishment of being put in prison for the rest of your life
be sentenced to/get/be given life
He was sentenced to life for the murder.
I think she should get life.
31.) ¦(ART)¦[U]
when you paint, draw etc something you are looking at, especially a person or animal
She's taking classes in life drawing .
32.) frighten/scare the life out of sb informal
to make someone feel very frightened
Don't do that! You scared the life out of me!
33.) there's life in the old dog yet
spoken used to say that although someone or something is old, they are still able to do something - used humorously
34.) live/lead/have the life of Riley informal
to have a very easy and comfortable life and not have to work hard
He spends all day lounging by the pool and living the life of Riley.
35.) ¦(BOOK/FILM)¦[U]
the story of someone's life
Boswell's Life of Johnson
36.) the next life also the life to come
life after death
the time after death, in which some people believe life continues in another form
She expects to meet her dead husband in the next life.
as large as life atlarge1 (7)
→↑change of life,for dear life atdear3 (6), ↑double life,high life athigh1 (22), a new lease of life atlease1 (2), quality of life atquality1 (5), real life atreal1 (3), ↑real-life,true to life attrue1 (9), ↑walk of life

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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