"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[lahyf-lahyn] /ˈlaɪfˌlaɪn/
a line, fired across a ship or boat, by means of which a hawser for a breeches buoy may be hauled aboard.
a line or rope for saving life, as one attached to a lifeboat.
any of various lines running above the decks, spars, etc., of a ship or boat to give sailors something to grasp when there is danger of falling or being washed away.
a wire safety rope supported by stanchions along the edge of the deck of a yacht.
the line by which a diver is lowered and raised.
any of several anchored lines used by swimmers for support.
a route or means of transportation or communication for receiving or delivering food, medicine, or assistance:
This road is the town's lifeline and must be kept open despite the snow.
assistance at a critical time.
Origin of lifeline
1690-1700; life + line1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for lifeline
  • Unprecedented research and rescue efforts may offer a lifeline to species on the edge.
  • Compact nuclear power plants may be a lifeline for a struggling industry.
  • Writing was neither hobby nor diversion, but lifeline.
  • In other words, the humanitarian lifeline is on the verge of snapping.
  • If that thing you do at the office every day is suddenly your sole financial lifeline, you'll approach it more cautiously.
  • GM had to promise to slim down dramatically--cutting jobs, shuttering factories and shedding brands--to win its lifeline.
  • My guess is that it would take too long, requiring a lifeline or two, and only annoy the marketing types from each corporation.
  • lifeline discounts are also available for some wireless companies.
  • lifeline is available on only one line per household.
British Dictionary definitions for lifeline


a line thrown or fired aboard a vessel for hauling in a hawser for a breeches buoy
any rope or line attached to a vessel or trailed from it for the safety of passengers, crew, swimmers, etc
a line by which a deep-sea diver is raised or lowered
a vital line of access or communication
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for lifeline

also life-line, 1700, "rope used somehow to save lives," from life (n.) + line (n.); figurative sense first attested 1860. Sense in palmistry from 1890.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for lifeline

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for lifeline

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with lifeline

Nearby words for lifeline