life-boat

lifeboat

[lahyf-boht]
noun
1.
a double-ended ship's boat, constructed, mounted, and provisioned so as to be readily able to rescue and maintain persons from a sinking vessel.
2.
a similarly constructed boat used by shore-based rescue services.

Origin:
1795–1805; life + boat

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World English Dictionary
lifeboat (ˈlaɪfˌbəʊt)
 
n
1.  a boat, propelled by oars or a motor, used for rescuing people at sea, escaping from a sinking ship, etc
2.  informal a fund set up by the dealers in a market to rescue any member who may become insolvent as a result of a collapse in market prices

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