"Life" Dictionary Definition


    noun /līf/ 
    lifes, plural; lives, plural

    1. The condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death
      • - the origins of life
    2. Living things and their activity
      • - some sort of life existed on Mars
      • - lower forms of life
      • - the ice-cream vendors were the only signs of life
    3. The state of being alive as a human being
      • - she didn't want to die; she loved life
      • - a superficial world where life revolved around the minutiae of outward appearance
    4. A particular type or aspect of people's existence
      • - an experienced teacher will help you settle into school life
      • - revelations about his private life
    5. Vitality, vigor, or energy
      • - she was beautiful and full of life
    6. The existence of an individual human being or animal
      • - a disaster that claimed the lives of 266 Americans
    7. A way of living
      • - his father decided to start a new life in California
    8. A biography
      • - a life of Shelley
    9. Either of the two states of a person's existence separated by death (as in Christianity and some other religious traditions)
      • - too much happiness in this life could reduce the chances of salvation in the next
    10. Any of a number of successive existences in which a soul is held to be reincarnated (as in Hinduism and some other religious traditions)
    11. A chance to live after narrowly escaping death (esp. with reference to the nine livestraditionally attributed to cats)
      • The period between the birth and death of a living thing, esp. a human being
        • - she has lived all her life in the country
        • - I want to be with you for the rest of my life
        • - they became friends for life
      • The period during which something inanimate or abstract continues to exist, function, or be valid
        • - underlay helps to prolong the life of a carpet
      • A sentence of imprisonment for life
      • (in art) The depiction of a subject from a real model, rather than from an artist's imagination
        • - the pose and clothing were sketched from life
        • life drawing

    Web definitions
    • life - a characteristic state or mode of living; "social life"; "city life"; "real life"

    • life - the experience of being alive; the course of human events and activities; "he could no longer cope with the complexities of life"

    • life - 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"

    • life - animation: the condition of living or the state of being alive; "while there's life there's hope"; "life depends on many chemical and physical processes"

    • life - the period during which something is functional (as between birth and death); "the battery had a short life"; "he lived a long and happy life"

    • life - the period between birth and the present time; "I have known him all his life"

    • life - the period from the present until death; "he appointed himself emperor for life"

    • life - a living person; "his heroism saved a life"

    • life - liveliness: animation and energy in action or expression; "it was a heavy play and the actors tried in vain to give life to it"

    • life - living things collectively; "the oceans are teeming with life"

    • life - the organic phenomenon that distinguishes living organisms from nonliving ones; "there is no life on the moon"

    • life - biography: an account of the series of events making up a person's life

    • life - a motive for living; "pottery was his life"

    • life sentence: a prison term lasting as long as the prisoner lives; "he got life for killing the guard"

    • Life (cf. biota) is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have self-sustaining biological processes from those that do not The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition, published by Houghton Mifflin Company, via : *"The property or quality that distinguishes ...