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[lahyf-boht] /ˈlaɪfˌboʊt/
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.
a similarly constructed boat used by shore-based rescue services.
Origin of lifeboat
1795-1805; life + boat Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for lifeboat
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Nor were the lifeboat crew the only ones that distinguished themselves.

  • The two men returned to the lifeboat preparatory to leaving.

    Happy Ending Fredric Brown
  • Rescue proved very difficult, but the lifeboat saved forty-four; all the remainder were lost.

    The Cornwall Coast Arthur L. Salmon
  • After reading the manual on lifeboat operation there was but one course open.

    The Issahar Artifacts Jesse Franklin Bone
  • It was unlike any pictures he had seen of lifeboat rescues, unlike anything he had ever imagined.

    Vandover and the Brute Frank Norris
British Dictionary definitions for lifeboat


a boat, propelled by oars or a motor, used for rescuing people at sea, escaping from a sinking ship, etc
(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
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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Slang definitions & phrases for lifeboat



A pardon from a prison or other sentence; a retrial (1940s+ Underworld)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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