Meaning of “living” in the English Dictionary

"living" in English

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uk /ˈlɪv.ɪŋ/ us /ˈlɪv.ɪŋ/


uk /ˈlɪv.ɪŋ/ us /ˈlɪv.ɪŋ/

living noun (MONEY)

B2 [ C ] the money that you earn from your job:

What do you do for a living? (= What is your job?)
I mean, I don't like my job but at least it's a living (= a way of earning money).
See also
make a living

to earn enough money to buy the things you need:

Everyone has to make a living.
You can make a good living (= earn a lot of money) in sales if you have the right attitude.

[ C ] old-fashioned in the Church of England, the job, given to a priest, of being in charge of a particular area

More examples

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

"living" in American English

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livingplural noun

us /ˈlɪv·ɪŋ/

living plural noun (PEOPLE WHO HAVE LIFE)

people who are still alive:

On this anniversary of the tragedy we remember the living as well as the dead.

livingadjective [ not gradable ]

us /ˈlɪv·ɪŋ/

living adjective [ not gradable ] (HAVING LIFE)

Living is also used in some expressions to make them stronger:

He’s the living image of his father (= looks exactly like his father).

livingnoun [ C ]

us /ˈlɪv·ɪŋ/

living noun [ C ] (STAYING ALIVE)

the way you earn money; your job:

What do you do for a living?
She’s not happy working at the hospital but at least it’s a living.

(Definition of “living” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"living" in Business English

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uk /ˈlɪvɪŋ/ us

[ S ] the money you earn from the work you do:

He earns a living as an IT consultant.
More people are looking at alternative ways of making a living.
a good/comfortable/modest living He took a job in the City because he couldn't make a good living out of his writing.
do sth for a living

to do something as your job or a way of making money:

What does he do for a living?
She writes a financial column for a living.

[ U ] the way in which you live your life:

living conditions/standards The investment poured into the region over the last 20 years has done much to improve living standards.
Wages tend to be higher in the south, but so are living costs.
daily/everyday/day-to-day living The economic downturn has seen people struggle with the basic costs of day-to-day living.
ethical/green/modern living
rural/urban/city living

(Definition of “living” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)