plural of life. Unabridged


noun, plural lives [lahyvz] .
the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally.
the sum of the distinguishing phenomena of organisms, especially metabolism, growth, reproduction, and adaptation to environment.
the animate existence or period of animate existence of an individual: to risk one's life; a short life and a merry one.
a corresponding state, existence, or principle of existence conceived of as belonging to the soul: eternal life.
the general or universal condition of human existence: Too bad, but life is like that.
any specified period of animate existence: a man in middle life.
the period of existence, activity, or effectiveness of something inanimate, as a machine, lease, or play: The life of the car may be ten years.
a living being: Several lives were lost.
living things collectively: the hope of discovering life on other planets; insect life.
a particular aspect of existence: He enjoys an active physical life.
the course of existence or sum of experiences and actions that constitute a person's existence: His business has been his entire life.
a biography: a newly published life of Willa Cather.
animation; liveliness; spirit: a speech full of life.
resilience; elasticity.
the force that makes or keeps something alive; the vivifying or quickening principle: The life of the treaty has been an increase of mutual understanding and respect.
a mode or manner of existence, as in the world of affairs or society: So far her business life has not overlapped her social life.
the period or extent of authority, popularity, approval, etc.: the life of the committee; the life of a bestseller.
a prison sentence covering the remaining portion of the offender's animate existence: The judge gave him life.
anything or anyone considered to be as precious as life: She was his life.
a person or thing that enlivens: the life of the party.
effervescence or sparkle, as of wines.
pungency or strong, sharp flavor, as of substances when fresh or in good condition.
nature or any of the forms of nature as the model or subject of a work of art: drawn from life.
Baseball. another opportunity given to a batter to bat because of a misplay by a fielder.
(in English pool) one of a limited number of shots allowed a player: Each pool player has three lives at the beginning of the game.
for or lasting a lifetime; lifelong: a life membership in a club; life imprisonment.
of or pertaining to animate existence: the life force; life functions.
working from nature or using a living model: a life drawing; a life class.
as large as life, actually; indeed: There he stood, as large as life. Also, as big as life.
come to life,
to recover consciousness.
to become animated and vigorous: The evening passed, but somehow the party never came to life.
to appear lifelike: The characters of the novel came to life on the screen.
for dear life, with desperate effort, energy, or speed: We ran for dear life, with the dogs at our heels. Also, for one's life.
for the life of one, as hard as one tries; even with the utmost effort: He can't understand it for the life of him.
get a life, to improve the quality of one's social and professional life: often used in the imperative to express impatience with someone's behavior.
not on your life, Informal. absolutely not; under no circumstances; by no means: Will I stand for such a thing? Not on your life!
take one's life in one's hands, to risk death knowingly: We were warned that we were taking our lives in our hands by going through that swampy area.
to the life, in perfect imitation; exactly: The portrait characterized him to the life.

before 900; Middle English lif(e); Old English līf; cognate with Dutch lijf, German Leib body, Old Norse līf life, body; akin to live1

prelife, adjective
underlife, noun

13. vivacity, sprightliness, vigor, verve, activity, energy.

13. inertia.


1 [liv]
verb (used without object), lived [livd] , living.
to have life, as an organism; be alive; be capable of vital functions: all things that live.
to continue to have life; remain alive: to live to a ripe old age.
to continue in existence, operation, memory, etc.; last: a book that lives in my memory.
to maintain or support one's existence; provide for oneself: to live on one's income.
to feed or subsist (usually followed by on or upon ): to live on rice and bananas.
to dwell or reside (usually followed by in, at, etc.): to live in a cottage.
to pass life in a specified manner: They lived happily ever after.
to direct or regulate one's life: to live by the golden rule.
to experience or enjoy life to the full: At 40 she was just beginning to live.
to cohabit (usually followed by with ).
to escape destruction or remain afloat, as a ship or aircraft.
verb (used with object), lived [livd] , living.
to pass (life): to live a life of ease.
to practice, represent, or exhibit in one's life: to live one's philosophy.
Verb phrases
live down, to live so as to allow (a mistake, disgrace, etc.) to be forgotten or forgiven: She'll never live that crucial moment of failure down.
live in/out, to reside at or away from the place of one's employment, especially as a domestic servant: Their butler lives in, but the maids live out.
live up to, to live in accordance with (expectations or an ideal or standard); measure up to: He never lived up to his father's vision of him.
live high off/on the hog. hog ( def 16 ).
live it up, Informal. to live in an extravagant or wild manner; pursue pleasure: He started living it up after he got out of the army.
live well, to live comfortably: They're not wealthy but they live well.

before 900; Middle English liven, Old English lifian, libban; cognate with Dutch leven, German leben, Old Norse lifa, Gothic liban Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
life (laɪf)
n , pl lives
1.  the state or quality that distinguishes living beings or organisms from dead ones and from inorganic matter, characterized chiefly by metabolism, growth, and the ability to reproduce and respond to stimuliRelated: animate, vital
2.  the period between birth and death
3.  a living person or being: to save a life
4.  the time between birth and the present time
5.  a.  the remainder or extent of one's life
 b.  (as modifier): a life sentence; life membership; life subscription; life work
6.  short for life imprisonment
7.  the amount of time that something is active or functioning: the life of a battery
8.  a present condition, state, or mode of existence: my life is very dull here
9.  a.  a biography
 b.  (as modifier): a life story
10.  a.  a characteristic state or mode of existence: town life
 b.  (as modifier): life style
11.  the sum or course of human events and activities
12.  liveliness or high spirits: full of life
13.  a source of strength, animation, or vitality: he was the life of the show
14.  all living things, taken as a whole: there is no life on Mars; plant life
15.  sparkle, as of wines
16.  strong or high flavour, as of fresh food
17.  (modifier) arts drawn or taken from a living model: life drawing; a life mask
18.  physics another name for lifetime
19.  (in certain games) one of a number of opportunities of participation
20.  informal as large as life real and living
21.  larger than life in an exaggerated form
22.  come to life
 a.  to become animate or conscious
 b.  to be realistically portrayed or represented
23.  for dear life urgently or with extreme vigour or desperation
24.  for the life of one though trying desperately
25.  informal (Austral), (NZ) go for your life an expression of encouragement
26.  a matter of life and death a matter of extreme urgency
27.  informal not on your life certainly not
28.  informal the life and soul a person regarded as the main source of merriment and liveliness: the life and soul of the party
29.  informal the life of Riley an easy life
30.  to the life (of a copy or image) resembling the original exactly
31.  informal to save one's life in spite of all considerations or attempts: he couldn't play football to save his life
32.  the time of one's life a memorably enjoyable time
33.  true to life faithful to reality
Related: animate, vital
[Old English līf; related to Old High German lib, Old Norse līf life, body]

live1 (lɪv)
vb (usually foll by in or at) (foll by on, upon, or by)
1.  to show the characteristics of life; be alive
2.  to remain alive or in existence
3.  to exist in a specified way: to live poorly
4.  to reside or dwell: to live in London
5.  (often foll by on) to continue or last: the pain still lives in her memory
6.  (usually foll by by) to order one's life (according to a certain philosophy, religion, etc)
7.  to support one's style of life; subsist: to live by writing
8.  (foll by with) to endure the effects (of a crime, mistake, etc)
9.  (foll by through) to experience and survive: he lived through the war
10.  (tr) to pass or spend (one's life, etc)
11.  to enjoy life to the full: he knows how to live
12.  (tr) to put into practice in one's daily life; express: he lives religion every day
13.  live and let live to refrain from interfering in others' lives; to be tolerant
14.  informal (US) where one lives in one's sensitive or defenceless position
[Old English libban, lifian; related to Old High German libēn, Old Norse lifa]

live2 (laɪv)
1.  (prenominal) showing the characteristics of life
2.  (usually prenominal) of, relating to, or abounding in life: the live weight of an animal
3.  (usually prenominal) of current interest; controversial: a live issue
4.  actual: a real live cowboy
5.  informal full of life and energy
6.  (of a coal, ember, etc) glowing or burning
7.  (esp of a volcano) not extinct
8.  loaded or capable of exploding: a live bomb
9.  radio, television transmitted or present at the time of performance, rather than being a recording: a live show
10.  of a record
 a.  recorded in concert
 b.  recorded in one studio take, without overdubs or splicing
11.  connected to a source of electric power: a live circuit
12.  (esp of a colour or tone) brilliant or splendid
13.  acoustically reverberant: a live studio
14.  sport (of a ball) in play
15.  (of rocks, ores, etc) not quarried or mined; native
16.  being in a state of motion or transmitting power; positively connected to a driving member
17.  printing
 a.  (of copy) not yet having been set into type
 b.  (of type that has been set) still in use
18.  during, at, or in the form of a live performance: the show went out live
[C16: from on livealive]

lives (laɪvz)
the plural of life

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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Word Origin & History

O.E. life (dat. lif), from P.Gmc. *liba- (cf. O.N. lif "life, body," Du. lijf "body," O.H.G. lib "life," Ger. Leib "body"), properly "continuance, perseverance," from PIE *lip- "to remain, persevere, continue, live" (see leave). Much of the modern range of meaning was present
in O.E. Extended 1703 to "term of duration (of inanimate objects)." Life cycle is attested from 1873. Life-and-death "vitally important" is from 1822. Life of Riley is from 1919, perhaps from 1880s song about a man named O'Reilly and how he got rich and lived at ease. Lifer "prisoner serving a life sentence" is slang from 1830.

O.E. lifian (Anglian), libban (W.Saxon) "to be alive," also "to supply oneself with food, to pass life (in some condition)," from P.Gmc. stem *libæ (cf. O.N. lifa, O.Fris. libba, Ger. leben, Goth. liban "to live"), from PIE base *leip- "to remain, continue" (cf. Gk. liparein "to persist, persevere;"
see leave).
"According to the Dutch Prouerbe ... Leuen ende laetan leuen, To liue and to let others liue." [Malynes, 1622]
To live it up "live gaily and extravagantly" is from 1951. To live up to "act in accordance with" is from 1690s. To live (something) down "outwear (some slander or embarrassment)" is from 1842. To live with "cohabit as husband and wife" is attested from 1749; sense of "to put up with" is attested from 1937. Lived-in "inhabited, occupied" is first recorded 1873. Live-in (adj.) first attested, 1955. Expression live and learn is attested from c.1620.

1540s, "having life," later (1611) "burning, glowing," aphetic of alive (q.v.). Sense of "containing unspent energy or power" (live ammunition, etc.) is from 1799; live wire is attested from 1890; figurative sense of "active person" is from 1903. Meaning "in-person (performance)"
is first attested 1934.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

life (līf)
n. pl. lives (līvz)

  1. The property or quality that distinguishes living organisms from dead organisms and inanimate matter, manifested in functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, and response to stimuli or adaptation to the environment originating from within the organism.

  2. The characteristic state or condition of a living organism.

  3. Living organisms considered as a group.

  4. A living being, especially a person.

live (līv)

  1. Having life; alive.

  2. Capable of replicating in a host's cells.

  3. Containing living microorganisms or active virus, as a vaccine.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
life   (līf)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. The properties or qualities that distinguish living plants and organisms from dead or inanimate matter, including the capacity to grow, metabolize nutrients, respond to stimuli, reproduce, and adapt to the environment. The definitive beginning and end of human life are complex concepts informed by medical, legal, sociological, and religious considerations.

  2. Living organisms considered as a group, such as the plants or animals of a given region.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Bible Dictionary

Life definition

generally of physical life (Gen. 2:7; Luke 16:25, etc.); also used figuratively (1) for immortality (Heb. 7:16); (2) conduct or manner of life (Rom. 6:4); (3) spiritual life or salvation (John 3:16, 17, 18, 36); (4) eternal life (Matt. 19:16, 17; John 3:15); of God and Christ as the absolute source and cause of all life (John 1:4; 5:26, 39; 11:25; 12:50).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
Mobile phones have transformed lives in the poor world.
They are also changing some peoples' lives for the worse.
The digital intersection of our professional and private lives is getting
Instead of the usual offers of hostel places, they were simply asked what they
  needed to change their lives.
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