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life Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a characteristic state or mode of living
    • social life
    • city life
    • real life
  2. noun the experience of being alive; the course of human events and activities
    • he could no longer cope with the complexities of life
  3. noun the course of existence of an individual; the actions and events that occur in living
    • he hoped for a new life in Australia
    • he wanted to live his own life without interference from others
  4. noun the condition of living or the state of being alive
    living; animation; aliveness.
    • while there's life there's hope
    • life depends on many chemical and physical processes
  5. noun the period during which something is functional (as between birth and death)
    lifetime; life-time; lifespan.
    • the battery had a short life
    • he lived a long and happy life
  6. noun the period between birth and the present time
    • I have known him all his life
  7. noun the period from the present until death
    • he appointed himself emperor for life
  8. noun a living person
    • his heroism saved a life
  9. noun animation and energy in action or expression
    liveliness; sprightliness; spirit.
    • it was a heavy play and the actors tried in vain to give life to it
  10. noun living things collectively
    • the oceans are teeming with life
  11. noun the organic phenomenon that distinguishes living organisms from nonliving ones
    • there is no life on the moon
  12. noun an account of the series of events making up a person's life
    life story; biography; life history.
  13. noun a motive for living
    • pottery was his life
  14. noun a prison term lasting as long as the prisoner lives
    life sentence.
    • he got life for killing the guard

Life noun
AS. lf; akin to D. lijf body, G. leib body, MHG. lp life, body, OHG. lb life, Icel. lf, life, body, Sw. lif, Dan. liv, and E. live, v. . See Live, and cf. Alive.
plural Lives
  1. The state of being which begins with generation, birth, or germination, and ends with death; also, the time during which this state continues; that state of an animal or plant in which all or any of its organs are capable of performing all or any of their functions; -- used of all animal and vegetable organisms.
  2. Of human being: The union of the soul and body; also, the duration of their union; sometimes, the deathless quality or existence of the soul; as, man is a creature having an immortal life.
    She shows a body rather than a life. Shak.
  3. (Philos) The potential principle, or force, by which the organs of animals and plants are started and continued in the performance of their several and coöperative functions; the vital force, whether regarded as physical or spiritual.
  4. Figuratively: The potential or animating principle, also, the period of duration, of anything that is conceived of as resembling a natural organism in structure or functions; as, the life of a state, a machine, or a book; authority is the life of government.
  5. A certain way or manner of living with respect to conditions, circumstances, character, conduct, occupation, etc.; hence, human affairs; also, lives, considered collectively, as a distinct class or type; as, low life; a good or evil life; the life of Indians, or of miners.
    That which before us lies in daily life. Milton.
    By experience of life abroad in the world. Ascham.
    Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime. Longfellow.
    'T is from high life high characters are drawn. Pope
  6. Animation; spirit; vivacity; vigor; energy.
    No notion of life and fire in fancy and in words. Felton.
    That gives thy gestures grace and life. Wordsworth.
  7. That which imparts or excites spirit or vigor; that upon which enjoyment or success depends; as, he was the life of the company, or of the enterprise.
  8. The living or actual form, person, thing, or state; as, a picture or a description from, the life.
  9. A person; a living being, usually a human being; as, many lives were sacrificed.
  10. The system of animal nature; animals in general, or considered collectively.
    Full nature swarms with life. Thomson.
  11. An essential constituent of life, esp: the blood.
    The words that I speak unto you . . . they are life. John vi. 63.
    The warm life came issuing through the wound. Pope
  12. A history of the acts and events of a life; a biography; as, Johnson wrote the life of Milton.
  13. Enjoyment in the right use of the powers; especially, a spiritual existence; happiness in the favor of God; heavenly felicity.
  14. Something dear to one as one's existence; a darling; -- used as a term of endearment. Life forms the first part of many compounds, for the most part of obvious meaning; as, life-giving, life-sustaining, etc.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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