from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun 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.
  • noun The characteristic state or condition of a living organism.
  • noun Living organisms considered as a group.
  • noun A living being, especially a person.
  • noun The physical, mental, and spiritual experiences that constitute existence.
  • noun The interval of time between birth and death.
  • noun The interval of time between one's birth and the present.
  • noun A particular segment of one's life.
  • noun The period from an occurrence until death.
  • noun Slang A sentence of imprisonment lasting till death.
  • noun The time for which something exists or functions.
  • noun A spiritual state regarded as a transcending of corporeal death.
  • noun An account of a person's life; a biography.
  • noun Human existence, relationships, or activity in general.
  • noun A manner of living.
  • noun A specific, characteristic manner of existence. Used of inanimate objects.
  • noun The activities and interests of a particular area or realm.
  • noun A source of vitality; an animating force.
  • noun Liveliness or vitality; animation.
  • noun Something that actually exists regarded as a subject for an artist.
  • noun Actual environment or reality; nature.
  • adjective Of or relating to animate existence; involved in or necessary for living.
  • adjective Continuing for a lifetime; lifelong.
  • adjective Using a living model as a subject for an artist.
  • idiom (as big as life) Life-size.
  • idiom (as big as life) Actually present.
  • idiom (bring to life) To cause to regain consciousness.
  • idiom (bring to life) To put spirit into; animate.
  • idiom (bring to life) To make lifelike.
  • idiom (come to life) To become animated; grow excited.
  • idiom (for dear life) Desperately or urgently.
  • idiom (for life) Till the end of one's life.
  • idiom (for the life of (one)) Though trying hard.
  • idiom (not on your life) Absolutely not; not for any reason whatsoever.
  • idiom (take (one's) life) To commit suicide.
  • idiom (take (one's) life in (one's) hands) To take a dangerous risk.
  • idiom (take (someone's) life) To commit murder.
  • idiom (the good life) A wealthy, luxurious way of living.
  • idiom (the life of Riley) An easy life.
  • idiom (the life of the party) An animated, amusing person who is the center of attention at a social gathering.
  • idiom (to save (one's) life) No matter how hard one tries.
  • idiom (true to life) Conforming to reality.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The state that follows birth, and precedes death; the state of being alive and living.
  • noun The period during which one (a person, an animal, a plant, a star) is alive.
  • noun The span of time during which an object operates.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English lif, lyf, from Old English līf ("life, existence; life-time"), from Proto-Germanic *līban (“life, body”), from Proto-Germanic *lībanan (“to remain, stay, be left”), from Proto-Indo-European *leyp-, *lip- (“to stick, glue”). Cognate with Scots life, leif ("life"), North Frisian liff ("life, limb, person, livelihood"), West Frisian liif ("belly, abdomen"), Dutch lijf ("body"), Low German lif ("body; life, life-force; waist"), German Leib ("body"), Swedish liv ("life; waist"), Icelandic líf ("life"). Related to belive.


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  • This is your life flashing before your eyes, this is your ~life~ passing you by.

    wendchymes Diary Entry wendchymes 2007

  • As 'nightmare' scenario unfolds in one plant, auto union fights for 'American way of life' yahooBuzzArticleHeadline = 'As \'nightmare\' scenario unfolds in one plant, auto union fights for \'American way of life\ ''; yahooBuzzArticleSummary = 'Article: As bargaining for a new contract begins, GM, Ford and Chrysler will push autoworkers for wage and benefit concessions.

    As 'nightmare' scenario unfolds in one plant, auto union fights for 'American way of life' 2007

  • This literature tends to show subjects 'self-ratings of well-being or happiness are based partly on pleasure, partly on the absence of negative affect, and partly on their views of how well they are achieving the ends they regard as important in life (their ˜life satisfaction™).

    Pleasure Katz, Leonard D. 2006

  • If what I have found so far and my search has not ended yet, nor will it ever likely is accurate- that life begins at fertilization both by the independent definition of “life” and a scientific understanding of the life cycle- then abortion must end.

    An unavoidable conclusion - BatesLine 2005

  • He also credits Aristotle with saying: “Teachers who educated children deserved more honour than parents who merely gave them birth; for bare life is furnished by the one, the other ensures a good life” (p. 463).

    Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) 1989

  • _The girl must prepare for life work in the home, or life work outside the home, or a period of either followed by the other, or perhaps a combination of both during some part or even all of her mature life_.

    Vocational Guidance for Girls Marguerite Stockman Dickson

  • Now those who regard literature as an important thing, playing a significant part in the life of a nation, must, as I have already indicated, seek in it something more positive than a _distraction_ from life; for them it must be an _addition to life_.

    Personality in Literature Rolfe Arnold Scott-James

  • Now, relying on these discoveries, as well as upon the successful demonstration, by inorganic means, of organic acids in chemistry, and starting from the supposition that the first appearance of life must necessarily be explained by those agencies which are already active in the inorganic nature, many scientists have attempted the so-called _mechanical explanation of life_.

    The Theories of Darwin and Their Relation to Philosophy, Religion, and Morality Rudolf Schmid

  • _After the death_, &c. 172, l. 3. _or_ else it _should cost life for life_; and that in a short time they should be like hogs kept for slaughter, by this vitious

    The Works of John Knox, Vol. 1 (of 6) John Knox

  • By nature it is implanted in man that he should live in civil society, for since he cannot attain in solitude the necessary means of civilized life, it is a Divine provision that he comes into existence adapted for taking part in the union and assembling of men, both in the Family and in the State, which alone can supply adequate facilities for _the perfecting of life_.

    Donahoe's Magazine, Volume 15, No. 1, January 1886 Various


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