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life preserver

a buoyant jacket, belt, or other like device for keeping a person afloat.
British Slang. a weapon, especially a short stick with a weighted head; blackjack.
Origin of life preserver
1630-40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for life-preserver
Historical Examples
  • I perspired so much that mother put a life-preserver to bed with me.

    Mark Twain's Speeches Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • With the lid locked down, it might act as a buoy, and serve for a life-preserver.

    The Ocean Waifs Mayne Reid
  • It looks as if he were getting ready to do some outside cleaning, for he had on a life-preserver.

  • As it is here employed, it strangely suggests a life-preserver.

    Homer's Odyssey Denton J. Snider
  • My only advice is that you should cling to Aleck as to a life-preserver.

  • What with the constable and the life-preserver, we'll be safe.

    The Vicar of Bullhampton Anthony Trollope
  • “It looks to me like a life-preserver to a drowning man,” said Morgan, with a glimmer of his every-day facetiousness.

    The Bondboy George W. (George Washington) Ogden
  • Rectus told me to put on my life-preserver, and he helped me fasten it.

    A Jolly Fellowship Frank R. Stockton
  • He had walked straight home from his club with the life-preserver in his pocket, and had never turned to the right or to the left.

    Phineas Redux Anthony Trollope
  • On went the ship, and on went the life-preserver, skipping and dancing over the waves.

    A Jolly Fellowship Frank R. Stockton
British Dictionary definitions for life-preserver

life preserver

(Brit) a club or bludgeon, esp one kept for self-defence
(US & Canadian) a life belt or life jacket
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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