livelihood

[lahyv-lee-hood]
noun
a means of supporting one's existence, especially financially or vocationally; living: to earn a livelihood as a tenant farmer.

Origin:
before 1000; earlier liveliod, livelihod, alteration (by reanalysis as lively + hood; compare obsolete livelihood liveliness) of Middle English livelod, Old English līflād conduct of life, way of life (see life, lode, load)


sustenance, subsistence. See living.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
livelihood (ˈlaɪvlɪˌhʊd)
 
n
occupation or employment

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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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

livelihood
c.1300, livelode "means of keeping alive," from O.E. lifad "course of life," from lif "life" + lad "way, course" (see load). Spelling assimilated 16c. to words in -hood. Earlier livelihood was a different word, meaning "liveliness."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
With little means of subsistence or livelihood in the delta countryside, many of the tribal members have migrated to the cities.
If you could cure his defect, he would be without a means of subsistence, he would have no livelihood.
My livelihood as a freelance writer went out the window when the economy tanked.
As an adjunct or a contract employee, you are risking your livelihood.
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