a means of supporting one's existence, especially financially or vocationally; living: to earn a livelihood as a tenant farmer.

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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
livelihood (ˈlaɪvlɪˌhʊd)
occupation or employment

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

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 for livelihoods
His greatest concern would have been for the people and their livelihoods.
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