1) N-UNCOUNT Life is the quality which people, animals, and plants have when they are not dead, and which objects and substances do not have.

...a baby's first minutes of life...

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty as a violation of the right to life.

...the earth's supply of life-giving oxygen.

2) N-UNCOUNT: with supp You can use life to refer to things or groups of things which are alive.

Is there life on Mars?...

The book includes some useful facts about animal and plant life.

3) N-COUNT: usu poss N If you refer to someone's life, you mean their state of being alive, especially when there is a risk or danger of them dying.

Your life is in danger...

A nurse began to try to save his life...

The intense fighting is reported to have claimed many lives.

4) N-COUNT: poss N Someone's life is the period of time during which they are alive.

He spent the last fourteen years of his life in retirement...

For the first time in his life he regretted that he had no faith.

5) N-COUNT: with supp, usu poss N You can use life to refer to a period of someone's life when they are in a particular situation or job.

Interior designers spend their working lives keeping up to date with the latest trends...

That was the beginning of my life in the television business.

6) N-COUNT: supp N You can use life to refer to particular activities which people regularly do during their lives.

My personal life has had to take second place to my career...

Most diabetics have a normal sex life.

7) N-UNCOUNT You can use life to refer to the events and experiences that happen to people while they are alive.

Life won't be dull!...

It's the people with insecurities who make life difficult.

...the sort of life we can only fantasise about living.

8) N-UNCOUNT If you know a lot about life, you have gained many varied experiences, for example by travelling a lot and meeting different kinds of people.

I was 19 and too young to know much about life...

I needed some time off from education to experience life.

9) N-UNCOUNT: usu supp N You can use life to refer to the things that people do and experience that are characteristic of a particular place, group, or activity.

How did you adjust to college life?...

...he abhors the wheeling-and-dealing associated with conventional political life.

...the culture and life of north Africa.

10) N-UNCOUNT (approval) A person, place, book, or film that is full of life gives an impression of excitement, energy, or cheerfulness.

The town itself was full of life and character...

The rejection of the Jewish theme meant the rejection of everything that gave the script passion and life...

He's sucked the life out of her.

11) N-COUNT: oft N of n A life of a person is a book or film which tells the story of their life.

A life of John Paul Jones had long interested him.

12) N-UNCOUNT If someone is sentenced to life, they are sentenced to stay in prison for the rest of their life or for a very long time. [INFORMAL]

He could get life in prison, if convicted.

13) N-COUNT: with poss The life of something such as a machine, organization, or project is the period of time that it lasts for.

The repairs did not increase the value or the life of the equipment.

14) N-UNCOUNT In art, life refers to the producing of drawings, paintings, or sculptures that represent actual people, objects, or places, rather than images from the artist's imagination.

...learning to draw from life...

She had once posed for Life classes when she was an art student.

15) PHRASE: V inflects If you say that something or someone is your life, you are emphasizing that they are extremely important to you.

The Church is my life.

16) PHRASE: V inflects If you bring something to life or if it comes to life, it becomes interesting or exciting.

The cold, hard cruelty of two young men is vividly brought to life in this true story...

Poems which had seemed dull and boring suddenly came to life.

17) PHRASE: V inflects If something or someone comes to life, they become active.

The volcano came to life a week ago.

18) PHRASE If you talk about life after death, you are discussing the possibility that people may continue to exist in some form after they die.

I believe in life after death.

19) PHRASE: V inflects If you say that someone is fighting for their life, you mean that they are in a very serious condition and may die as a result of an accident or illness. [JOURNALISM]

He was in a critical condition, fighting for his life in hospital.

20) PHRASE: PHR after v, n PHR For life means for the rest of a person's life.

He was jailed for life in 1966 for the murder of three policemen...

She may have been scarred for life...

There can be no jobs for life.

21) PHRASE: with brd-neg, usu PHR before v, PHR with cl (emphasis) If you say that you cannot for the life of you understand or remember something, you are emphasizing that you cannot understand or remember it, even if you try hard. [INFORMAL]

I can't for the life of me understand why you didn't think of it.

22) PHRASE: PHR after v (emphasis) If you say that someone does something for dear life or for their life, you mean that they do it using all their strength and effort because they are in a dangerous or urgent situation. [INFORMAL]

I made for the life raft and hung on for dear life.

23) PHRASE: V inflects (approval) If you say that someone lives life to the full, you mean that they try to gain a lot from life by being always busy and trying new activities.
24) PHRASE (disapproval) If you tell someone to get a life, you are expressing frustration with them because their life seems boring or they seem to care too much about unimportant things. [INFORMAL]
25) CONVENTION (feelings) You can say `Life goes on' after mentioning something very sad to indicate that, although people are very upset or affected by it, they have to carry on living normally.

I can't spend the rest of my life wishing it hadn't happened. Life goes on.

26) PHRASE: V and N inflect If you say that you have a life, you mean that you have interests and activities, particularly outside your work, which make your life enjoyable and worthwhile.
27) PHRASE: usu n PHR If you talk about the man or woman in someone's life, you mean the person they are having a relationship with, especially a sexual relationship.

There is a new man in her life.

28) PHRASE: usu with brd-neg, usu PHR after v (emphasis) You can use in all my life or in my life to emphasize that you have never previously experienced something to such a degree.

I have never been so scared in all my life...

I have never seen such a shambles in my life.

29) PHRASE: N inflects (emphasis) You can use expressions such as the fright of your life or the race of your life to emphasize, for example, that you have never been so frightened or that you never have run faster.

A top reggae singer gave a young fan the thrill of her life when he serenaded her.

30) PHRASE: v-link PHR, PHR n If you say that someone or something is larger than life, you mean that they appear or behave in a way that seems more exaggerated or important than usual.

...not that we should expect all good publishers to be larger than life...

Nobody takes seriously the improbable storylines and larger than life characters.

31) PHRASE: V inflects, usu PHR for n If someone lays down their life for another person, they die so that the other person can live. [LITERARY]

Man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.

32) PHRASE: V inflects To risk life and limb means to do something very dangerous in order to achieve something.

Viewers will remember the dashing hero, Dirk, risking life and limb to rescue Daphne from the dragons.

33) PHRASE: N inflects If you start a new life, you move to another place or country, or change your career, usually to try and recover from an unpleasant experience.

He had gone as far away as possible to build a new life.

34) CONVENTION (emphasis) If someone says `Not on your life', they are totally rejecting a suggestion that has been made. [INFORMAL]

`You should have given him a lift.' - `In that condition? Not on your life!'

no way
35) PHRASE: V and N inflect If you live your own life, you live in the way that you want to and accept responsibility for your actions and decisions, without other people's advice or interference.

Adults need to live their own lives and that's difficult with children.

36) PHRASE: V and N inflect If you say that something rules someone's life, you mean that it affects everything they do, usually in a negative way.

I'm going to stop letting drugs and drink rule my life.

37) PHRASE: N inflects, PHR after v (emphasis) If you say that someone cannot do something to save their life, you are emphasizing that they do it very badly. [INFORMAL]

Winston could not have read the road signs to save his life.

38) PHRASE: usu v-link PHR (approval) If you refer to someone as the life and soul of the party, you mean that they are very lively and entertaining on social occasions, and are good at mixing with people. In American English, you usually say that they are the life of the party.
39) PHRASE: V inflects, usu PHR as n If something starts life or begins life as a particular thing, it is that thing when it first starts to exist.

Herr's book started life as a dramatic screenplay.

40) PHRASE: V and N inflect If someone takes another person's life, they kill them. If someone takes their own life, they kill themselves. [FORMAL]

Before execution, he admitted to taking the lives of at least 35 more women...

He helped his first wife take her life when she was dying of cancer.

41) CONVENTION (feelings) People say `That's life' after an unlucky, unpleasant, or surprising event to show that they realize such events happen occasionally and must be accepted.

`It never would have happened if Florette had not gone back for the book.' - `That's life.'

42) PHRASE: V inflects You can use expressions such as to come to life, to spring to life, and to roar into life to indicate that a machine or vehicle suddenly starts working or moving. [LITERARY]

To his great relief the engine came to life...

In the garden of the Savoy Hotel the sprinklers suddenly burst into life.

43) CONVENTION (feelings) People say `What a life' to indicate that they are unhappy or are having great difficulties.

Here I am at a crummy hotel with no clean clothes, no money and suffering from shock. What a life!

44) PHRASE: V inflects If you say that life isn't worth living without something, or that something makes life worth living, you mean that you cannot enjoy life without it.

Life is not worth living without food you can look forward to and enjoy!...

Those are the moments which make life worth living.

45) See also , kiss of life
a matter of life and deathsee death
a new lease of lifesee lease
to have the time of your lifesee time
true to lifesee true

English dictionary. 2008.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Life- — Life …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

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  • life — or get a life [līf] n. pl. lives [ME < OE līf, akin to ON líf, life, Ger leib, body < IE base * leibh , to LIVE1] 1. that property or quality of plants and animals that distinguishes them from inorganic matter or dead organisms; specif.,… …   English World dictionary

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