life blood

lifeblood

[lahyf-bluhd]
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:
1580–90; life + blood

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
lifeblood (ˈlaɪfˌblʌd)
 
n
1.  the blood, considered as vital to sustain life
2.  the essential or animating force

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

lifeblood
1580s, "blood necessary for life," from life + blood. Figurative and transferred use is from 1590s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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