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lifeblood

[lahyf-bluhd] /ˈlaɪfˌblʌd/
noun
1.
the blood, considered as essential to maintain life:
to spill one's lifeblood in war.
2.
a life-giving, vital, or animating element:
Agriculture is the lifeblood of the country.
Origin of lifeblood
1580-1590
1580-90; life + blood
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for lifeblood

lifeblood

/ˈlaɪfˌblʌd/
noun
1.
the blood, considered as vital to sustain life
2.
the essential or animating force
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for lifeblood
n.

also life-blood, 1580s, "blood necessary for life," from life (n.) + blood (n.). Figurative and transferred use is from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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