[lahyf-suh-pawrt, -pohrt]
of or pertaining to equipment or measures that sustain or artificially substitute for essential body functions, as breathing or disposal of body wastes: Without life-support equipment, the patient might die.
of or pertaining to equipment or measures that provide, within a surrounding hostile environment, as outer space or ocean depths, a life-sustaining environment similar to that found on the earth's surface: the life-support system of a spacecraft or submarine.
of or pertaining to anything that fosters or sustains life, success, or continued existence, as of a person, thing, or nation: the life-support system of the economy.

1955–60 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To life-support
World English Dictionary
of or providing the equipment required to sustain human life in an unnatural environment, such as in space, or in severe illness or disability

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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Example sentences
Perhaps the strategy is to provide enough long-term life-support to allow such
  tiny, always reversible, glacial steps to proceed.
Even then, the energy required to heft humans and all they would need for
  life-support in an extra-terrestrial colony is immense.
Preventing water scarcity from undermining food security, ecological
  life-support systems, and social stability will not be easy.
After his lungs and kidneys failed, he was on a life-support system for several
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