from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. God.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The state of being which begins with generation, birth, or germination, and ends with death; also, the time during which this state continues; that state of an animal or plant in which all or any of its organs are capable of performing all or any of their functions; -- used of all animal and vegetable organisms.
  • n. Of human beings: The union of the soul and body; also, the duration of their union; sometimes, the deathless quality or existence of the soul.
  • n. The potential principle, or force, by which the organs of animals and plants are started and continued in the performance of their several and coöperative functions; the vital force, whether regarded as physical or spiritual.
  • n. Figuratively: The potential or animating principle, also, the period of duration, of anything that is conceived of as resembling a natural organism in structure or functions
  • n. A certain way or manner of living with respect to conditions, circumstances, character, conduct, occupation, etc.; hence, human affairs; also, lives, considered collectively, as a distinct class or type
  • n. Animation; spirit; vivacity; vigor; energy.
  • n. That which imparts or excites spirit or vigor; that upon which enjoyment or success depends.
  • n. The living or actual form, person, thing, or state.
  • n. A person; a living being, usually a human being.
  • n. The system of animal nature; animals in general, or considered collectively.
  • n. An essential constituent of life, esp: the blood.
  • n. A history of the acts and events of a life; a biography.
  • n. Enjoyment in the right use of the powers; especially, a spiritual existence; happiness in the favor of God; heavenly felicity.
  • n. Something dear to one as one's existence; a darling; -- used as a term of endearment.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • An abbreviation of God's life, used as an oath: an interjection of impatience.
  • n. The principle of animate corporeal existence; the capacity of an animal or a plant for self-preservation and growth by the processes of assimilation and excretion, the permanent cessation of which constitutes death; that state of an animal or a plant in which its organs are in actual performance of their functions, or are capable of performing their functions, though the performance has not yet begun, or has begun but incompletely, or has been temporarily suspended; vitality.
  • n. Duration of the animate existence of an individual; the whole or any period of animate existence; the time between birth and death, or any part of it from a given point till death: as, life is but a span; to hold office for life.
  • n. The principle or state of conscious spiritual existence: as, the life of the soul.
  • n. Duration of existence or activity in general; term of continuance, usefulness, or efficiency; the time during which anything lasts, or has force or validity: as, the life of a machine; the life of a lease; the enterprise had a short life.
  • n. The state or condition of being alive; individual manifestation of existence: as, to save or lose one's life.
  • n. Embodied vitality; vital force in material forms; living beings in the aggregate: as, a high or a low type of life; the absence of life in the desert.
  • n. A corporeal existence; a living being; one who or that which has life; a person: now used only with reference to persons as lost or saved, but formerly of a person generally: as, many lives were lost.
  • n. Source or means of living; that which makes or keeps alive; vivifying principle; an essential vital element, as food or the blood.
  • n. A vital part of the body; a life-spot or vulnerable point.
  • n. Condition, quality, manner, or course of living; career: as, high or low, married or single life; to lead a gay life; to amend one's life; the daily life of a community.
  • n. In theology, that kind of spiritual existence which belongs to God, is manifested in Christ, and is imparted through faith to the believer; hence, a course of existence devoted to the service of God, possessed of the felicity of his fellowship, and to be consummated after death.
  • n. An account of a person's career and actions; a personal history; a biography: as, Plutarch's Lives; Johnson's Lives of the Poets.
  • n. Vivid show of animate existence; animation; spirit; vivacity; energy in action, thought, or expression: as, to put life into one's work.
  • n. An animating force or influence; anything that quickens or enlivens; a source of vital energy, happiness, or enjoyment; hence, that which is dear as life (in this sense often used as an epithet of endearment): as, he was the life of the company; his books were his life.
  • n. The living form and expression; hence, reality in appearance or representation; living semblance; actual likeness: as, to draw from the life; he looks the character to the life.
  • n. An insurance on a person's life; a life-insurance policy.
  • n. So as to save, or as if to save, one's life: as, to run for life; to swim for life.
  • n. That life which belongs properly to the most vital organs, as the heart, brain, or lungs: distinguished from the more vegetative life of the organs of nutrition, for example, whose functions may be temporarily suspended without causing death.
  • n. Synonyms Animation, Life, Liveliness, etc. See animation.
  • n. In base-ball, an opportunity given to the batsman or base-runner, through an error of the opponents, of continuing without being put out; in sports in general, an unexpected or undeserved opportunity.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the experience of being alive; the course of human events and activities
  • n. animation and energy in action or expression
  • n. living things collectively
  • n. a characteristic state or mode of living
  • n. a motive for living
  • n. the period from the present until death
  • n. the course of existence of an individual; the actions and events that occur in living
  • n. the organic phenomenon that distinguishes living organisms from nonliving ones
  • n. a prison term lasting as long as the prisoner lives
  • n. an account of the series of events making up a person's life
  • n. the condition of living or the state of being alive
  • n. the period during which something is functional (as between birth and death)
  • n. the period between birth and the present time
  • n. a living person


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • The definition attributed to Wiktionary is incorrect.

    March 13, 2019

  • Diogenes was asked,

    "What is the difference between life and death?

    "No difference."

    "Well then, why do you remain in this life?"

    "Because there is no difference."

    January 3, 2010

  • What happens is not what life is all about.

    What you do in reaction to what happens is what life is all about.

    January 3, 2010