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life-and-death

[lahyf-uh n-deth] /ˈlaɪf ənˈdɛθ/
adjective
1.
ending with the death or possible death of one of the participants; crucially important:
The cobra was engaged in a life-and-death struggle with the mongoose.
Also, life-or-death.
Origin
1680-1690
1680-90
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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