Meaning of “live on sth” in the English Dictionary

"live on sth" in British English

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live on sth

phrasal verb with live uk /lɪv/ us /lɪv/ verb

(MONEY)

B2 If you live on an amount of money, that is the money that you use to buy the things that you need:

We lived on very little when we first got married.

More examples

  • I can live on my inheritance.
  • The job provides enough to live on.
  • His earnings aren't enough to live on.
  • They live on the money they earn from growing tobacco.
  • It's hard to imagine what these people live on.

(FOOD)

B2 to only eat a particular type of food:

I more or less live on pasta.

More examples

  • They live on a diet of maize.
  • Our cat lives on chicken and milk.
  • You can't live on chips.
  • They live on fast food.
  • They have to live on what they can grow themselves.

(Definition of “live on sth” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"live on sth" in Business English

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live on sth

phrasal verb with live uk /lɪv/ us verb

if you live on an amount of money, that is the money that you use to buy the things that you need:

Nearly 5 million of Morocco's 33 million people live on less than $2 a day, according to the World Bank.
live on a budget/a low income/a fixed income etc. Many retired people living on fixed incomes need to estimate what the purchasing power of money will be over long periods in the future.

(Definition of “live on sth” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)