Meaning of LIFE in English
/ laɪf; NAmE / noun
( pl. lives / laɪvz; NAmE /)
STATE OF LIVING
[ U ] the ability to breathe, grow, reproduce, etc. which people, animals and plants have before they die and which objects do not have :
life and death
The body was cold and showed no signs of life .
My father died last year—I wish I could bring him back to life .
In spring the countryside bursts into life.
[ U , C ] the state of being alive as a human; an individual person's existence :
The floods caused a massive loss of life (= many people were killed) .
He risked his life to save his daughter from the fire.
Hundreds of lives were threatened when the building collapsed.
The operation saved her life .
My grandfather lost his life (= was killed) in the war.
Several attempts have been made on the President's life (= several people have tried to kill him) .
[ U ] living things :
plant / animal life
marine / pond life
Is there intelligent life on other planets?
PERIOD OF TIME
[ C , U ] the period between sb's birth and their death; a part of this period :
He's lived here all his life .
I've lived in England for most of my life.
to have a long / short life
He became very weak towards the end of his life.
Brenda took up tennis late in life .
He will spend the rest of his life (= until he dies) in a wheelchair.
There's no such thing as a job for life any longer.
She is a life member of the club.
in early / adult life
—see also change of life
[ C ] (used with an adjective) a period of sb's life when they are in a particular situation or job :
She has been an accountant all her working life .
He met a lot of interesting people during his life as a student.
They were very happy throughout their married life .
[ C ] the period of time when sth exists or functions :
The International Stock Exchange started life as a London coffee shop.
They could see that the company had a limited life (= it was going to close) .
In Italy the average life of a government is eleven months.
—see also shelf life
[ U ] the punishment of being sent to prison for life; life imprisonment :
The judge gave him life .
EXPERIENCE / ACTIVITIES
[ U ] the experience and activities that are typical of all people's existences :
the worries of everyday life
He is young and has little experience of life .
Commuting is a part of daily life for many people.
Jill wants to travel and see life for herself.
We bought a dishwasher to make life easier .
In Africa life can be hard.
In real life (= when she met him) he wasn't how she had imagined him at all.
Life isn't like in the movies, you know.
[ U , C ] the activities and experiences that are typical of a particular way of living :
country / city life
She enjoyed political life.
family / married life
How do you find life in Japan?
[ C ] a person's experiences during their life; the activities that form a particular part of a person's life :
He has had a good life .
a hard / an easy life
My day-to-day life is not very exciting.
a life of luxury
Her daily life involved meeting lots of people.
Many of these children have led very sheltered lives (= they have not had many different experiences) .
They emigrated to start a new life in Canada.
He doesn't like to talk about his private life .
She has a full social life .
articles about the love lives of the stars
—see also sex life
ENERGY / EXCITEMENT
[ U ] the quality of being active and exciting
SYN vitality :
This is a great holiday resort that is full of life .
[ U ] a living model or a real object or scene that people draw or paint :
She had lessons in drawing from life.
a life class (= one in which art students draw a naked man or woman)
—see also still life
STORY OF LIFE
[ C ] a story of sb's life
SYN biography :
She wrote a life of Mozart.
IN CHILDREN'S GAMES
[ C ] one of a set number of chances before a player is out of a game :
He's lost two lives, so he's only got one left.
- be sb's life
- bring sb/sth to life
- come to life
- for dear life | for your life
- for the life of you
- frighten / scare the life out of sb
- full of beans / life
- get a life
- lay down your life (for sb/sth)
- life after death
- the life and soul of the party, etc.
- life is cheap
- (have) a life of its own
- life's too short
- make life difficult (for sb)
- the man / woman in your life
- not on your life
- take sb's life
- take your (own) life
- take your life in your hands
- that's life
- where there's life (, there's hope)
—more at bet verb , breath , breathe , change noun , depart , dog noun , end verb , fact , fear noun , fight verb , inch noun , kiss noun , large , lease , light noun , matter noun , misery , nine , risk verb , save verb , slice noun , spring verb , staff noun , story , time noun , true adjective , variety , walk noun , way noun
Old English līf , of Germanic origin; related to Dutch lijf , German Leib body, also to live (I).
Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary. Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне. 2005