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English definition of “life”

life

noun uk   /laɪf/ (plural lives) us  
A1 [C or U] the period between birth and death, or the experience or state of being alive: Life's too short to worry about money! I'm not sure I want to spend the rest of my life with him. Unfortunately, accidents are part of life. He went mad towards the end of his life. Cats are supposed to have nine lives. He doesn't know what he really wants in/out of life. The accident changed my whole outlook on life. He lost his life (= died suddenly because of a violent event or accident) in the Great War. A simple mixture of glucose and water can save lives in many parts of the world. He ran off with her life savings (= all the money she had saved). B1 [C or U] a way of living or a particular part of someone's life: her family/private/sex life my working life We interviewed senior politicians, famous writers, and others in public life. Drugs and violence are deeply rooted in American life. I left home at 16 to see life (= have different experiences with a lot of people in lots of places). Teaching has been her life (= the most important and enjoyable thing in her life). C2 [C usually singular] the period for which a machine or organization lasts: The newer batteries have a much longer life. Careful use will prolong the life of your machine. The legislation won't be passed during the life of the present parliament. [U] the quality that makes people, animals, and plants different from objects, substances, and things that are dead: The doctor could find no sign of life in the old man's body.figurative I looked through the window but I couldn't see any signs of life (= people moving). B2 [U] energy or enthusiasm: She's so full of life. B1 [U] everything that is alive: human/marine/plant life [U] specialized art In art, if you work from life, you paint, draw, etc. real people or objects, usually while they are in front of you rather than from memory: life drawing classes [C] informal especially in children's games, one of the limited number of times that you can lose, but still continue playing: Every time the little man gets hit, you lose a life. bring sth to life to make something more real or exciting: It's always been an interesting period in history and this film really brought it to life. come to life to become more real or exciting: The game really came to life in the second half. for life C1 for the whole of a person's life: I believe marriage is for life. give your life (also lay down your life) to be willing to die in order to defend or support someone or something: They were ready to give their lives for their country. life after death If you believe in life after death, you believe that people continue to exist in some form after they die. start a new life (also make a new life for yourself) to completely change how or where you live: She decided to start a new life in Australia.
(Definition of life from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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