From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishlifelife /laɪf/ ●●● S1 W1 noun (plural lives /laɪvz/) 1 time somebody is alive [countable, uncountable]LIFE the period of time when someone is alive Learning goes on throughout life. You have your whole life ahead of you.in somebody’s life For the first time in my life I was happy. I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life! I’ve known John all my life (=since I was born). His main aim in life was to have fun. It was one of the best days of my life. The accident scarred him for life (=for the rest of his life). She knew she’d feel guilty for the rest of her life. Raj spent his life caring for others. Bonington spent his entire adult life in France. We don’t know much about the poet’s early life (=when he was young). Poor diet can lead to a whole range of diseases in later life (=when you are older). She married late in life (=when she was fairly old). He’s a life member (=continuing until he dies) of the club.2 state of being alive [countable, uncountable]LIVING/ALIVE the state of being alive The right to life is the most basic of human rights. Danny was a cheerful little boy who loved life. Two firefighters risked their lives to save the children.3 way somebody lives [countable usually singular]LIFE the way you live your life, and what you do and experience during itlead/live/have a ... life The operation should enable Bobby to lead a normal life. She just wanted to live a quiet life. Having a baby changes your life completely. The family moved to Australia to start a new life. Ken’s whole life revolved around surfing (=that was the main interest and purpose of his life). You shouldn’t let your boyfriend rule your life (=control and affect everything you do). My grandmother had a hard life (=a life full of problems). She’s led a very sheltered life (=a life in which you have been protected from unpleasant things).a life of crime/poverty/misery etc He had been drawn into a life of crime.4 particular situation/job [countable, uncountable]LIFE a) the experiences, activities, and ways of living that are typical of being in a particular job, situation, society etc Why do so few women enter political life? the British way of lifecity/country/village etc life Noise has become one of the main pollutants of modern city life.army/student/college etc life He missed the routine of army life. Are you enjoying married life? b) the time in your life when you are doing a particular job, are in a particular situation etcsomebody’s life as something Now a celebrity chef, he rarely talks about his life as an army cook. Sara admits to having affairs throughout her married life. Most of his working life was spent in the shipyards.5 → social/personal/sex etc life6 human existence [uncountable]LIVING/ALIVE human existence, considered as a variety of experiences and activities My Aunt Julia had very little experience of life. Life has a way of changing the best of plans. For some people, religion gives life a meaning.daily/everyday life the frustrations and disappointments of everyday life I try to see the funny side of life.7 time when something exists/works [countable usually singular] a) PERIOD OF TIMEthe period of time during which something happens or existslife of The issues will not be resolved during the life of the present parliament.start/begin/come to life as something The building began life as a monastery. b) LAST FOR A PERIOD OF TIMEthe period of time during which something is still good enough to uselife of What’s the average life of a passenger aircraft? Careful use can extend the life of your washing machine. → shelf life8 living things [uncountable] a) LIVING/ALIVEthe quality of being alive that people, animals, plants etc have and that objects and dead things do not have Ben felt her neck for a pulse or any other sign of life. In the springtime, everything comes to life again. b) LIVING/ALIVEliving things, such as people, animals, or plants Is there life on other planets?human/animal/plant/bird etc life The island is rich in bird life. → wildlife9 → be somebody’s (whole) life10 → life and death11 game [countable] a chance in a game, especially a computer game, in which you can be defeated or do something wrong and can still continue playing He’s up to level five and still has three lives left.12 BUSY PLACEactivity [uncountable] activity or movement The house was quiet and there was no sign of life. She was always so cheerful and full of life.13 interest/excitement [uncountable] a quality of being interesting or exciting Try to put some life into your writing. The game really came to life after a magnificent goal from Rooney. A gifted teacher can really bring literature to life for his or her students.14 → come to life/roar into life/splutter into life etc15 → make life difficult/easier etc16 → the life and soul of the party17 → life and limb18 → get a life!19 → that’s life20 → life’s a bitch21 → this is the life22 → the shock/surprise/game etc of somebody’s life23 → how’s life?24 → life goes on25 → a life of its own26 → cannot for the life of me27 → life’s too short28 → not on your life29 → the woman/man/girl etc in your life30 prison [uncountable]SCPUNISH (also life imprisonment) the punishment of being put in prison for the rest of your lifebe sentenced to/get/be given life He was sentenced to life for the murder. I think she should get life. → life sentence, lifer31 art [uncountable]AVP when you paint, draw etc something you are looking at, especially a person or animal She’s taking classes in life drawing. → still life32 → frighten/scare the life out of somebody33 → there’s life in the old dog yet34 → live/lead/have the life of Riley35 book/film [uncountable]STORY the story of someone’s life syn biography Boswell’s ‘Life of Johnson’36 → the next life → as large as life at large1(7), → change of life, → for dear life at dear2(6), → double life, → high life at high1(22), → a new lease of life at lease1(2), → quality of life at quality1(5), → real life at real1(3), real-life, → true to life at true1(9), → walk of lifeCOLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: the state of being aliveverbssave somebody’s lifeThe money you give will save the life of a child.risk your lifeHe risked his life to help Jews during the Second World War.lose your life (=die)Hundreds of people lost their lives on the first day of the fighting.take a/somebody’s life (=kill someone)All cultures consider it wrong to take a life for no reason.take your own life (=kill yourself)He was depressed and decided to take his own life.claim the life of somebody (=kill someone – used of a thing)The disease claimed the lives of up to a quarter of the population.cost lives/cost somebody their life (=result in deaths/in someone’s death)That decision may have cost him his life.give your life/lay down your life (=die in order to save other people, or because of a strong belief)These men gave their lives during the war to keep us free.endanger the life of somebodyThey wanted to capture the gunman without endangering the lives of his hostages.spare somebody’s life (=not kill someone, when you could kill them)She begged him to spare the life of her son.be fighting for your life (=be so ill or injured that you might die)One badly burned man was fighting for his life in hospital.cling to life (=try to stay alive, even though you are very ill or injured)She clung to life, despite the pain.phrasesowe your life to somebody (=be still alive because of someone’s actions)The victim said he owed his life to the stranger who helped him.take your life in your hands (=put yourself in a dangerous situation)Just crossing this road is taking your life in your hands.COMMON ERRORS ► Don’t say ‘the cost of life’. Say the cost of living.
Examples from the Corpuslife• Life can be hard sometimes.• Life in L.A. is exciting.• I'm hoping to win the lottery and live a life of luxury!• He left school at 15, quickly turning to a life of crime.• A Life of Christopher Columbus• Cindy still doesn't know much about life.• Immigrating to the UK was their only chance for a better life.• Debbie has a really busy life, doesn't she?• Every opportunity to maximise the differences between school and college life was seized.• He knew very little about his mother's early life in Africa.• At least Aunt Edith had a happy life.• Dad spent his life building up this business.• Do you believe in life after death?• Do you think there is life on other planets?• Lack of calcium can lead to bone disease in later life.• Mars and Venus this weekend means your love life will start to sparkle.• a baby's first moments of life• By our actions today, we can improve the quality of life for future generations.• I can not say that Dickie ever talked to me about his most personal life.• But she knew Petey was too old for dishonest leaps between the movies and real life.• Boswell's Life of Sanuel Johnson was published in 1791.• This has had a huge effect on children's lives.• An 18-year-old San Jose man clung to life late Wednesday after being shot in the head during a robbery.• We are having a wonderful life, without you.• All your life every man has wanted to be a cowboy.• Having a baby completely changes your life.• How would you like to spend your life? What kind of work would you like to do?all my life• I lived in New York City all my life.• In this regard I have been nothing else all my life.• I love Barry and I feel like I have known him all my life.• I could say that in spite of ties of affection I have been lonely all my life.• The look of her will bother me all my life.• I have been fortunate enough to find myself all my life on the side of tolerance.• My memory of all my life is like that.• Father, Father, I called to you all my life!changes ... life• Small things cause great changes in fragile lives.• Not everyone feels this way, though, mostly because they've taken measures to make changes in their lives.• They know the presence of the Holy Spirit who changes their lives.way of life• Casual dress has become a way of life in corporate Britain.• The reef is indeed a way of life, not a particular kind of creature.• As long as it is not a way of life.• Shopping is an important part of the American way of life.• the American way of life• Of the rest, twenty mentioned various kinds of community-level effects which I would classify as affecting the local way of life.• "How can we abandon our way of life?" asked the old sheep herder. "It's all we know."• Nevertheless it stirred 28,000 ordinary people to write to Lambeth Palace about the way of life they most desired.• What about their way of life?• The basic mechanism that undermines the traditional way of life is the ever increasing number and density of the population.• The islanders whose way of life has been unchallenged.daily/everyday life• Similarly, the sentence-grammarian can not remain immured from the discourse he encounters in his daily life.• Appreciate the use made of percentages in everyday life.• The artist portrayed images of daily life in his native town of Ocotlan with vivid colors, surrealism and magical realism.• Such murders were becoming part of daily life in El Salvador.• This is the reality of everyday life.• Culturally dominant and playing a pervasive role in the everyday life of élite and masses alike, it wielded enormous influence.• National character supposedly reflects the everyday life that finds its way into the culture.• Will the daily lives of these people be improved through this project?life of• What's the average life of a passenger airplane?• The interest rate varies over the life of the loan.sign of life• Even when all sign of life had gone I kept on feeling itchy.• There are signs of life above the snow, too.• A flock was once thought to be a decisive sign of life, some noble formation only life could achieve.• Here are inchoate signs of life, but not as we know it, Jim.• After the bout in which I intimated signs of life, I came through the ropes, smiling.• It was Hilda Machin, and there was no sign of life.• There was no sign of life.• I looked around for the slightest sign of life.sign of life• Even when all sign of life had gone I kept on feeling itchy.• There are signs of life above the snow, too.• A flock was once thought to be a decisive sign of life, some noble formation only life could achieve.• Here are inchoate signs of life, but not as we know it, Jim.• After the bout in which I intimated signs of life, I came through the ropes, smiling.• It was Hilda Machin, and there was no sign of life.• There was no sign of life.• I looked around for the slightest sign of life.came to life• Another man-ape came to life, and went through the same routine.• Everything came to life in the summer with the warm weather and long days.• The platform, which had become rather glazed during Mrs de Crespigny's harangue, came to life.• At that moment Hilda came to life.• Alfred more or less came to life at this.• Then they turned a crank on its side and the little radio came to life.• But for her the phantom baby that came to life dancing in her fantasy was a baffling problem.• They came to life and leapt out of their hiding places in little pots.life drawing• Conté Carres crayons are well known and very popular, especially for life drawing.• I think attending an evening class in life drawing helped me overcome this hurdle.• Stephen Conroy and I had the same tutor, Geoff Squires, and maybe he's a model for our life drawing.• In the life drawing classes it was hard to get a seat and many sat on the windowsills.• She felt that she would like to take up life drawing.