English translation unavailable for life.


life [noun]
US /laɪf/ 
UK /laɪf/ 

There was no sign of life in him.

Oxford Essential Dictionary


 noun (plural lives )

1 (no plural) People, animals and plants have life while they are alive, but things like stone, metal and water do not:
Do you believe there is life after death?
Is there life on other planets?

2 (plural lives) being alive:
Many people lost their lives (= died) in the fire.
The doctor saved her life (= stopped her dying).

3 (plural lives) the time that somebody is alive:
He has lived here all his life.

4 (plural lives) the way that you live or the experiences that you have when you are alive:
They were very happy throughout their married life.
They lead a busy life.

5 (no plural) energy; being busy and interested:
Young children are full of life.


Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English


life S1 W1 /laɪf/ BrE AmE noun (plural lives /laɪvz/)
[Word Family: noun: life, lifelessness, lifer; adjective: lifeless, lifelike, lifelong; adverb: lifelessly]
[Language: Old English; Origin: lif]
1. TIME SOMEBODY IS ALIVE [uncountable and countable] the period of time when someone is alive:
Learning goes on throughout life.
You have your whole life ahead of you.
in sb’s life
For the first time in my life I was happy.
I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life!
I’ve known John all my life (=since I was born).
His main aim in life was to have fun.
It was one of the best days of my life.
The accident scarred him for life (=for the rest of his life).
She knew she’d feel guilty for the rest of her life.
Raj spent his life caring for others.
Bonington spent his entire adult life in France.
We don’t know much about the poet’s early life (=when he was young).
Poor diet can lead to a whole range of diseases in later life (=when you are older).
She married late in life (=when she was fairly old).
He’s a life member (=continuing until he dies) of the club.
2. STATE OF BEING ALIVE [uncountable and countable] the state of being alive:
The right to life is the most basic of human rights.
Danny was a cheerful little boy who loved life.
Two firefighters risked their lives to save the children.
3. WAY SOMEBODY LIVES [countable usually singular] the way you live your life, and what you do and experience during it
lead/live/have a ... life
The operation should enable Bobby to lead a normal life.
She just wanted to live a quiet life.
Having a baby changes your life completely.
The family moved to Australia to start a new life.
Ken’s whole life revolved around surfing (=that was the main interest and purpose of his life).
You shouldn’t let your boyfriend rule your life (=control and affect everything you do).
My grandmother had a hard life (=a life full of problems).
She’s led a very sheltered life (=a life in which you have been protected from unpleasant things).
a life of crime/poverty/misery etc
He had been drawn into a life of crime.
4. PARTICULAR SITUATION/JOB [uncountable and countable]
a) the experiences, activities, and ways of living that are typical of being in a particular job, situation, society etc:
Why do so few women enter political life?
the British way of life
city/country/village etc life
Noise has become one of the main pollutants of modern city life.
army/student/college etc life
He missed the routine of army life.
Are you enjoying married life?
b) the time in your life when you are doing a particular job, are in a particular situation etc
sb’s life as something
Now a celebrity chef, he rarely talks about his life as an army cook.
Sara admits to having affairs throughout her married life.
Most of his working life was spent in the shipyards.
5. social/personal/sex etc life the activities in your life relating to your friends, your family, sex etc:
I don’t need advice about my love life.
traditional views of family life
Children need a caring and happy home life.
6. HUMAN EXISTENCE [uncountable] human existence, considered as a variety of experiences and activities:
My Aunt Julia had very little experience of life.
Life has a way of changing the best of plans.
For some people, religion gives life a meaning.
daily/everyday life
the frustrations and disappointments of everyday life
I try to see the funny side of life.
7. TIME WHEN SOMETHING EXISTS/WORKS [countable usually singular]
a) the period of time during which something happens or exists
life of
The issues will not be resolved during the life of the present parliament.
start/begin/come to life as something
The building began life as a monastery.
b) the period of time during which something is still good enough to use
life of
What’s the average life of a passenger aircraft?
Careful use can extend the life of your washing machine. ⇨ ↑shelf life
8. LIVING THINGS [uncountable]
a) the quality of being alive that people, animals, plants etc have and that objects and dead things do not have:
Ben felt her neck for a pulse or any other sign of life.
In the springtime, everything comes to life again.
b) living things, such as people, animals, or plants:
Is there life on other planets?
human/animal/plant/bird etc life
The island is rich in bird life. ⇨ ↑wildlife
9. be sb’s (whole) life to be the most important thing or person to someone:
Music is Laura’s whole life.
10. life and death (also life or death) used for emphasizing that a situation, decision etc is extremely urgent and important, especially because someone is at risk of dying:
Don’t call me unless it’s a matter of life and death.
a life or death decision
A doctor’s job involves life and death situations.
11. GAME [countable] a chance in a game, especially a computer game, in which you can be defeated or do something wrong and can still continue playing:
He’s up to level five and still has three lives left.
12. ACTIVITY [uncountable] activity or movement:
The house was quiet and there was no sign of life.
She was always so cheerful and full of life.
13. INTEREST/EXCITEMENT [uncountable] a quality of being interesting or exciting:
Try to put some life into your writing.
The game really came to life after a magnificent goal from Rooney.
A gifted teacher can really bring literature to life for his or her students.
14. come to life/roar into life/splutter into life etc to suddenly start working:
Finally the car spluttered into life.
15. make life difficult/easier etc to make it difficult, easier etc to do something:
Surely computers are supposed to make life easier, not more complicated!
make life difficult/easier etc for
Why make life difficult for yourself?
16. the life and soul of the party British English, the life of the party American English someone who enjoys social occasions and is fun and exciting to be with
17. life and limb formal your life and physical health – used especially when this is threatened in some way:
She risks life and limb every day in her job as an undercover investigator.
18. get a life! spoken used to tell someone that you think they are boring and should find more exciting things to do:
You guys should just stop moaning and get a life!
19. that’s life (also such is life) spoken used to say that something is disappointing but you have to accept it:
Oh well, that’s life!
20. life’s a bitch spoken not polite used to say that bad things happen in life
21. this is the life spoken used when you are relaxing and doing something you enjoy:
Ah, this is the life! Lying on the beach, sipping cool drinks.
22. the shock/surprise/game etc of sb’s life the biggest shock or surprise, the best game etc that someone has ever had:
I had the surprise of my life when I saw John standing there. ⇨ have the time of your life at ↑time1(41)
23. how’s life? spoken used to ask someone if they are well, what they have been doing etc:
Hi Bob! How’s life?
How’s life been with you?
24. life goes on spoken used to say that you must continue to live a normal life even when something sad or disappointing has happened:
We both miss him, but life goes on.
25. a life of its own
a) if something has a life of its own, it seems to move or work by itself:
The ball seemed to have acquired a life of its own.
b) if something has a life of its own, it exists and develops without depending on other things:
Slowly but surely, the project is taking on a life of its own.
26. cannot for the life of me spoken used to say that you cannot remember or understand something even when you try hard:
I couldn’t for the life of me remember his name.
27. life’s too short spoken used to say that you should not waste time doing something or worrying about something:
Forget about it. Life’s too short.
life’s too short for
Life’s too short for moping about.
life’s too short to do something
Life’s too short to bear grudges.
28. not on your life spoken used as a reply to a question or suggestion to say that you definitely will not do something:
‘Are you going to go and work for him then?’ ‘Not on your life!’
29. the woman/man/girl etc in your life the woman or man you are married to or are having a relationship with – used especially in advertisements:
This is the ideal gift for the man in your life.
30. PRISON [uncountable] (also life imprisonment) the punishment of being put in prison for the rest of your life
be sentenced to/get/be given life
He was sentenced to life for the murder.
I think she should get life. ⇨ ↑life sentence, ↑lifer
31. ART [uncountable] when you paint, draw etc something you are looking at, especially a person or animal:
She’s taking classes in life drawing. ⇨ ↑still life
32. frighten/scare the life out of somebody informal to make someone feel very frightened:
Don’t do that! You scared the life out of me!
33. there’s life in the old dog yet spoken used to say that although someone or something is old, they are still able to do something – used humorously
34. live/lead/have the life of Riley informal to have a very easy and comfortable life and not have to work hard:
He spends all day lounging by the pool and living the life of Riley.
35. BOOK/FILM [uncountable] the story of someone’s life SYN biography:
Boswell’s ‘Life of Johnson’
36. the next life (also the life to come), life after death the time after death, in which some people believe life continues in another form:
She expects to meet her dead husband in the next life.
as large as life at large1(7), ⇨ change of life, ⇨ for dear life at dear3(6), ⇨ double life, ⇨ high life at high1(22), ⇨ a new lease of life at lease1(2), ⇨ quality of life at quality1(5), ⇨ real life at real1(3), ⇨ real-life, ⇨ true to life at true1(9), ⇨ walk of life
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)
■ verbs
save sb’s life The money you give will save the life of a child.
risk your life He risked his life to help Jews during the Second World War.
lose your life (=die) Hundreds of people lost their lives on the first day of the fighting.
take a/sb’s life (=kill someone) All cultures consider it wrong to take a life for no reason.
take your own life (=kill yourself) He was depressed and decided to take his own life.
claim the life of somebody (=kill someone – used of a thing) The disease claimed the lives of up to a quarter of the population.
cost lives/cost somebody their life (=result in deaths/in someone’s death) That decision may have cost him his life.
give your life/lay down your life (=die in order to save other people, or because of a strong belief) These men gave their lives during the war to keep us free.
endanger the life of somebody They wanted to capture the gunman without endangering the lives of his hostages.
spare sb’s life (=not kill someone, when you could kill them) She begged him to spare the life of her son.
be fighting for your life (=be so ill or injured that you might die) One badly burned man was fighting for his life in hospital.
cling to life (=try to stay alive, even though you are very ill or injured) She clung to life, despite the pain.
■ phrases
owe your life to somebody (=be still alive because of someone’s actions) The victim said he owed his life to the stranger who helped him.
take your life in your hands (=put yourself in a dangerous situation) Just crossing this road is taking your life in your hands.
► Do not say 'the cost of life'. Say the cost of living.

Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary




life [life lives]   [laɪf]    [laɪf]  noun (pl. lives   [laɪvz]  ;   [laɪvz]  )



1. uncountable the ability to breathe, grow, reproduce, etc. which people, animals and plants have before they die and which objects do not have
life and death
The body was cold and showed no signs of life.
My father died last year— I wish I could bring him back to life.

• In spring the countryside bursts into life.

2. uncountable, countable the state of being alive as a human; an individual person's existence
The floods caused a massive loss of life (= many people were killed).
He risked his life to save his daughter from the fire.
Hundreds of lives were threatened when the building collapsed.
The operation saved her life.
My grandfather lost his life (= was killed) in the war.

• Several attempts have been made on the President's life (= several people have tried to kill him).  




3. uncountable living things
plant/animal life
marine/pond life

• Is there intelligent life on other planets?  




4. countable, uncountable the period between sb's birth and their death; a part of this period
He's lived here all his life.
I've lived in England for most of my life.
to have a long/short life
He became very weak towards the end of his life.
Brenda took up tennis late in life.
He will spend the rest of his life (= until he dies) in a wheelchair.
There's no such thing as a job for life any longer.
She is a life member of the club.
in early/adult life

see also  change of life

5. countable (used with an adjective) a period of sb's life when they are in a particular situation or job
She has been an accountant all her working life.
• He met a lot of interesting people during his life as a student.

• They were very happy throughout their married life.

6. countable the period of time when sth exists or functions
The International Stock Exchange started life as a London coffee shop.
They could see that the company had a limited life (= it was going to close).
• In Italy the average life of a government is eleven months.

see also  shelf life  




7. uncountable the punishment of being sent to prison for life; life imprisonment
The judge gave him life.

• She is doing life for murder.  




8. uncountable the experience and activities that are typical of all people's existences
the worries of everyday life
He is young and has little experience of life.
Commuting is a part of daily life for many people.
Jill wants to travel and see life for herself.
We bought a dishwasher to make life easier.
In London life can be hard.
In real life (= when she met him) he wasn't how she had imagined him at all.
• Life can be difficult when you move to a new town.

• Life isn't like in the movies, you know.

9. uncountable, countable the activities and experiences that are typical of a particular way of living
country/city life
She enjoyed political life.
family/married life

• How do you find life in Japan?

10. countable a person's experiences during their life; the activities that form a particular part of a person's life
He has had a good life.
a hard/an easy life
My day-to-day life is not very exciting.
a life of luxury
Her daily life involved meeting lots of people.
She lived a quiet life in the countryside.
Many of these children have led very sheltered lives (= they have not had many different experiences).
They emigrated to start a new life in Canada.
He doesn't like to talk about his private life.
She has a full social life.
articles about the love lives of the stars

see also  sex life  




11. uncountable the quality of being active and exciting
Syn:  vitality

• This is a great holiday resort that is full of life.  




12. uncountable a living model or a real object or scene that people draw or paint
She had lessons in drawing from life.
a life class (= one in which art students draw a naked man or woman)

see also  still life  




13. countable a story of sb's life
Syn:  biography

• She wrote a life of Mozart.  




14. countable one of a set number of chances before a player is out of a game
He's lost two lives, so he's only got one left.
more at you can bet your life/your bottom dollar (on sth/(that)…) at  bet  v., the breath of life at  breath, breathe (new) life into sth at  breathe, the change of life at  change  n., depart this life at  depart, a dog's life at  dog  n., end your days/life at  end  v., a fact of lifethe facts of life at  fact, in fear of your life at  fear  n., fight for (your) life at  fight  v., within an inch of your life at  inch  n., kiss of life at  kiss  n., large as lifelarger than life at  large, a new lease of life at  lease, light of sb's life at  light  n., a matter of life and death at  matter  n., make sb's life a misery at  misery, have nine lives at  nine, risk life and limb at  risk  v., not be able to do sth to save your life at  save  v., a slice of life at  slice  n., spring into/to life at  spring  v., the staff of life at  staff  n., that's the story of my life at  story, at my, your, his, etc. time of lifehave the time of your life at  time  n., true to life at  true  adj., variety is the spice of life at  variety, a walk of life at  walk  n., a/the/sb's way of life at  way  n.
Idioms: bring somebody to life  come to life  for dear life  for the life of you  for your life  full of life  get a life  lay down your life  lead the life of Riley  life after death  life and soul of the party  life is cheap  life of its own  life's too short  make life difficult  man in your life  not on your life  scare the life out of somebody  somebody's life  take somebody's life  take your life  take your life in your hands  that's life  where there's life  
Word Origin:
Old English līf, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch lijf, German Leib ‘body’, also to live1.  
life noun
1. U, C
The body was cold and showed no signs of life.
Opp: death
sb/sth's very/continued/day-to-day life/existence/survival
threaten sb/sth's life/existence/survival
fight for your life/survival
2. C, U
I've lived here all my life.
lifetimecareerin sb's day
in/of sb's life/lifetime/career/day
during sb's life/lifetime/career
a life/lifetime/career of doing sth
3. C
How do you find life in America?
lifestyleway of lifelivingexistence
(sb's) day-to-day life/living/existence
a comfortable/busy life/lifestyle/existence
have/lead/enjoy a… life/lifestyle/existence
4. U
We need to inject some new life into this project.
energyvitalityfiredynamismsparkgustozest|BrE vigour|AmE vigor
new life/energy/vitality/zest/vigour
be full of life/energy/vitality/fire/dynamism/zest/vigour 
The living world
animals mate/breed/reproduce/feed (on sth)
fish/amphibians swim/spawn (= lay eggs)
birds fly/migrate/nest/sing
insects crawl/fly/bite/sting
insects/bees/locusts swarm
bees collect/gather nectar/pollen
spiders spin/weave a web
snakes/lizards shed their skins
bears/hedgehogs/frogs hibernate
insect larvae grow/develop/pupate
an egg/a chick/a larva hatches
attract/find/choose a mate
produce/release eggs/sperm
lay/fertilize/incubate/hatch eggs
inhabit a forest/a reef/the coast
mark/enter/defend (a) territory
stalk/hunt/capture/catch/kill prey
Plants and fungi
trees/plants grow/bloom/blossom/flower
a seed germinates/sprouts
leaves/buds/roots/shoots appear/develop/form
flower buds swell/open
a fungus grows/spreads/colonizes sth
pollinate/fertilize a flower/plant
produce/release/spread/disperse pollen/seeds/spores
produce/bear fruit
develop/grow/form roots/shoots/leaves
provide/supply/absorb/extract/release nutrients
perform/increase/reduce photosynthesis
Bacteria and viruses
bacteria/microbes/viruses grow/spread/multiply
bacteria/microbes live/thrive in/on sth
bacteria/microbes/viruses evolve/colonize sth/cause disease
bacteria break sth down/convert sth (into sth)
a virus enters/invades sth/the body
a virus mutates/evolves/replicates (itself)
be infected with/contaminated with/exposed to a new strain of a virus/drug-resistant bacteria
contain/carry/harbour (especially US) harbor bacteria/a virus
kill/destroy/eliminate harmful/deadly bacteria 
Example Bank:
He always believed in living life to the full.
He always had a great love of life.
He built his whole life around his children.
He devoted his life to the education of deaf children.
He ended his life a happy man.
He gave up his high-flying job and now enjoys a better quality of life.
He had been leading a double life, married to two women.
He hopes the development will breathe new life into the community.
He lost his life in an air crash.
He met the love of his life at college.
He never discussed the unhappiness of his past life.
He never let his work dominate his life.
He ruined his life through drinking.
He spent his whole life in Cornwall.
He was a miner all his working life.
He'll be haunted by the crash for the rest of his life.
Her paintings became more obscure towards the end of her life.
His fame was so sudden that he was unprepared for public life.
His foolishness almost cost him his life.
His time in London was his first glimpse of the seamier side of life.
I had the fright of my life when I saw the snake in my bed.
I owe my life to the the doctors at the hospital.
I think I may have been an animal in a previous life.
I wanted to see something of life before I settled down.
I've always had a fairly optimistic outlook on life.
I've known her all my life.
In later life he took up writing.
It's nice to see an old man still so full of life.
Japanese people have a very high life expectancy.
Learning meditation changed her life.
No lives were lost in the accident.
Only his wife had access to his inner life.
She begged the soldiers to spare her son's life.
She clung to life for several weeks.
She did not tolerate press intrusion into her private life.
She discovered jazz quite late in life.
She is still rebuilding her life after the accident.
She leads a busy social life.
She loved the Spanish way of life and immediately felt at home there.
She risked her life for the sake of the children.
She sensed she was entering a new phase in her life.
She thought marriage should be for life.
She took her own life.
She went through life always wanting what she couldn't get.
She's critically ill, on life support.
The city only comes to life at night.
The crash claimed 43 lives.
The driver showed no signs of life.
The hotel started life as a prison.
The pace of life is much gentler on the island.
The plane crashed with heavy loss of life.
There has only been one woman in her life.
There have been three attempts on the president's life.
These talks are a matter of life and death for the factory.
They both seem to want the same things out of life.
They need some new, younger staff to breathe some life into the company.
They went to Australia to start a new life.
They were enjoying the high life in the smartest hotels of New York.
They're living a life of luxury in the Bahamas.
Throughout her life she was dogged by loneliness.
Witnesses are living in fear for their life after giving evidence against the gang.
You're still in the prime of life.
a child bursting with life
a drug that will save lives
a life-support machine
a real-life drama
anti-abortionists campaigning for the right to life
for the first time in her life
Bad posture is one of the causes of back pain in later life.
He doesn't like to talk about his private life.
He has had a hard life.
He is young and has little experience of life.
He met a lot of interesting people during his life as a student.
He said the men had threatened his life.
He spent his entire adult life in France.
He will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
He's lived here all his life.
How do you find life in America?
I've lived in England for most of my life.
In Italy at that time the average life of a government was eleven months.
In real life he wasn't how she had imagined him at all.
Life isn't like in the movies, you know.
Many of these children have led very sheltered lives.
My father died last year— I wish I could bring him back to life.
My grandfather lost his life in the Second World War.
My mother took up tennis late in life.
She has a full social life.
She has been an accountant all her working life.
She led a life of luxury.
The International Stock Exchange started life as a London coffee shop.
The body was cold and showed no signs of life.
The floods caused a massive loss of life.
The operation saved her life.
The product has a guaranteed shelf life of 60 days.
The worries of everyday life can become unbearable for people with this condition.
There's no such thing as a job for life any longer.
They emigrated to start a new life in America.
They were very happy throughout their married life.
We bought a dishwasher to make life easier.
We need to inject some new life into this project.
Yet more species of plant and animal life die out as their very specialized habitat is disturbed.
• You mustn't let anyone know— it's a matter of life and death.

• pond life



Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition

life / laɪf / noun ( plural lives )

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) .

→  See also afterlife , pro-life

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 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 ( also come to life ) to make something more real or exciting, or to become more real or exciting:

It's always been an interesting period in history and this film really brought it to life.

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.

Word partners for life

have / lead / live a (charmed/normal, etc.) life • spend your life (doing sth) • affect / change / ruin sb's life • lose / risk your life • save sb's life • rebuild your life • an aspect / part of sb's life • all sb's life

© Cambridge University Press 2013

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary



 1) N-UNCOUNT Life is the quality which people, animals, and plants have when they are not dead, and which objects and substances do not have.
  ...a baby's first minutes of life...
  Amnesty International opposes the death penalty as a violation of the right to life.
  ...the earth's supply of life-giving oxygen.
 2) N-UNCOUNT: with supp You can use life to refer to things or groups of things which are alive.
  Is there life on Mars?...
  The book includes some useful facts about animal and plant life.
 3) N-COUNT: usu poss N If you refer to someone's life, you mean their state of being alive, especially when there is a risk or danger of them dying.
  Your life is in danger...
  A nurse began to try to save his life...
  The intense fighting is reported to have claimed many lives.
 4) N-COUNT: poss N Someone's life is the period of time during which they are alive.
  He spent the last fourteen years of his life in retirement...
  For the first time in his life he regretted that he had no faith.
 5) N-COUNT: with supp, usu poss N You can use life to refer to a period of someone's life when they are in a particular situation or job.
  Interior designers spend their working lives keeping up to date with the latest trends...
  That was the beginning of my life in the television business.
 6) N-COUNT: supp N You can use life to refer to particular activities which people regularly do during their lives.
  My personal life has had to take second place to my career...
  Most diabetics have a normal sex life.
 7) N-UNCOUNT You can use life to refer to the events and experiences that happen to people while they are alive.
  Life won't be dull!...
  It's the people with insecurities who make life difficult.
  ...the sort of life we can only fantasise about living.
 8) N-UNCOUNT If you know a lot about life, you have gained many varied experiences, for example by travelling a lot and meeting different kinds of people.
  I was 19 and too young to know much about life...
  I needed some time off from education to experience life.
 9) N-UNCOUNT: usu supp N You can use life to refer to the things that people do and experience that are characteristic of a particular place, group, or activity.
  How did you adjust to college life?...
  ...he abhors the wheeling-and-dealing associated with conventional political life.
  ...the culture and life of north Africa.
 10) N-UNCOUNT (approval) A person, place, book, or film that is full of life gives an impression of excitement, energy, or cheerfulness.
  The town itself was full of life and character...
  The rejection of the Jewish theme meant the rejection of everything that gave the script passion and life...
  He's sucked the life out of her.
 11) N-COUNT: oft N of n A life of a person is a book or film which tells the story of their life.
  A life of John Paul Jones had long interested him.
 12) N-UNCOUNT If someone is sentenced to life, they are sentenced to stay in prison for the rest of their life or for a very long time. [INFORMAL]
  He could get life in prison, if convicted.
  life imprisonment
 13) N-COUNT: with poss The life of something such as a machine, organization, or project is the period of time that it lasts for.
  The repairs did not increase the value or the life of the equipment.
 14) N-UNCOUNT In art, life refers to the producing of drawings, paintings, or sculptures that represent actual people, objects, or places, rather than images from the artist's imagination.
  ...learning to draw from life...
  She had once posed for Life classes when she was an art student.
 15) PHRASE: V inflects If you say that something or someone is your life, you are emphasizing that they are extremely important to you.
  The Church is my life.
 16) PHRASE: V inflects If you bring something to life or if it comes to life, it becomes interesting or exciting.
  The cold, hard cruelty of two young men is vividly brought to life in this true story...
  Poems which had seemed dull and boring suddenly came to life.
 17) PHRASE: V inflects If something or someone comes to life, they become active.
  The volcano came to life a week ago.
 18) PHRASE If you talk about life after death, you are discussing the possibility that people may continue to exist in some form after they die.
  I believe in life after death.
 19) PHRASE: V inflects If you say that someone is fighting for their life, you mean that they are in a very serious condition and may die as a result of an accident or illness. [JOURNALISM]
  He was in a critical condition, fighting for his life in hospital.
 20) PHRASE: PHR after v, n PHR For life means for the rest of a person's life.
  He was jailed for life in 1966 for the murder of three policemen...
  She may have been scarred for life...
  There can be no jobs for life.
 21) PHRASE: with brd-neg, usu PHR before v, PHR with cl (emphasis) If you say that you cannot for the life of you understand or remember something, you are emphasizing that you cannot understand or remember it, even if you try hard. [INFORMAL]
  I can't for the life of me understand why you didn't think of it.
 22) PHRASE: PHR after v (emphasis) If you say that someone does something for dear life or for their life, you mean that they do it using all their strength and effort because they are in a dangerous or urgent situation. [INFORMAL]
  I made for the life raft and hung on for dear life.
 23) PHRASE: V inflects (approval) If you say that someone lives life to the full, you mean that they try to gain a lot from life by being always busy and trying new activities.
 24) PHRASE (disapproval) If you tell someone to get a life, you are expressing frustration with them because their life seems boring or they seem to care too much about unimportant things. [INFORMAL]
 25) CONVENTION (feelings) You can say `Life goes on' after mentioning something very sad to indicate that, although people are very upset or affected by it, they have to carry on living normally.
  I can't spend the rest of my life wishing it hadn't happened. Life goes on.
 26) PHRASE: V and N inflect If you say that you have a life, you mean that you have interests and activities, particularly outside your work, which make your life enjoyable and worthwhile.
 27) PHRASE: usu n PHR If you talk about the man or woman in someone's life, you mean the person they are having a relationship with, especially a sexual relationship.
  There is a new man in her life.
 28) PHRASE: usu with brd-neg, usu PHR after v (emphasis) You can use in all my life or in my life to emphasize that you have never previously experienced something to such a degree.
  I have never been so scared in all my life...
  I have never seen such a shambles in my life.
 29) PHRASE: N inflects (emphasis) You can use expressions such as the fright of your life or the race of your life to emphasize, for example, that you have never been so frightened or that you never have run faster.
  A top reggae singer gave a young fan the thrill of her life when he serenaded her.
 30) PHRASE: v-link PHR, PHR n If you say that someone or something is larger than life, you mean that they appear or behave in a way that seems more exaggerated or important than usual.
  ...not that we should expect all good publishers to be larger than life...
  Nobody takes seriously the improbable storylines and larger than life characters.
 31) PHRASE: V inflects, usu PHR for n If someone lays down their life for another person, they die so that the other person can live. [LITERARY]
  Man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.
 32) PHRASE: V inflects To risk life and limb means to do something very dangerous in order to achieve something.
  Viewers will remember the dashing hero, Dirk, risking life and limb to rescue Daphne from the dragons.
 33) PHRASE: N inflects If you start a new life, you move to another place or country, or change your career, usually to try and recover from an unpleasant experience.
  He had gone as far away as possible to build a new life.
 34) CONVENTION (emphasis) If someone says `Not on your life', they are totally rejecting a suggestion that has been made. [INFORMAL]
  `You should have given him a lift.' - `In that condition? Not on your life!'
  no way
 35) PHRASE: V and N inflect If you live your own life, you live in the way that you want to and accept responsibility for your actions and decisions, without other people's advice or interference.
  Adults need to live their own lives and that's difficult with children.
 36) PHRASE: V and N inflect If you say that something rules someone's life, you mean that it affects everything they do, usually in a negative way.
  I'm going to stop letting drugs and drink rule my life.
 37) PHRASE: N inflects, PHR after v (emphasis) If you say that someone cannot do something to save their life, you are emphasizing that they do it very badly. [INFORMAL]
  Winston could not have read the road signs to save his life.
 38) PHRASE: usu v-link PHR (approval) If you refer to someone as the life and soul of the party, you mean that they are very lively and entertaining on social occasions, and are good at mixing with people. In American English, you usually say that they are the life of the party.
 39) PHRASE: V inflects, usu PHR as n If something starts life or begins life as a particular thing, it is that thing when it first starts to exist.
  Herr's book started life as a dramatic screenplay.
 40) PHRASE: V and N inflect If someone takes another person's life, they kill them. If someone takes their own life, they kill themselves. [FORMAL]
  Before execution, he admitted to taking the lives of at least 35 more women...
  He helped his first wife take her life when she was dying of cancer.
 41) CONVENTION (feelings) People say `That's life' after an unlucky, unpleasant, or surprising event to show that they realize such events happen occasionally and must be accepted.
  `It never would have happened if Florette had not gone back for the book.' - `That's life.'
 42) PHRASE: V inflects You can use expressions such as to come to life, to spring to life, and to roar into life to indicate that a machine or vehicle suddenly starts working or moving. [LITERARY]
  To his great relief the engine came to life...
  In the garden of the Savoy Hotel the sprinklers suddenly burst into life.
 43) CONVENTION (feelings) People say `What a life' to indicate that they are unhappy or are having great difficulties.
  Here I am at a crummy hotel with no clean clothes, no money and suffering from shock. What a life!
 44) PHRASE: V inflects If you say that life isn't worth living without something, or that something makes life worth living, you mean that you cannot enjoy life without it.
  Life is not worth living without food you can look forward to and enjoy!...
  Those are the moments which make life worth living.
 45) → See also fact of life, kiss of life
 a matter of life and deathsee death
 a new lease of lifesee lease
 to have the time of your lifesee time
 true to lifesee true

Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary: 

1life /ˈlaɪf/ noun, pl lives /ˈlaɪvz/
1 [noncount] : the ability to grow, change, etc., that separates plants and animals from things like water or rocks
• He believes that God gives life to all creatures.
• the miracle of life
• eternal/everlasting life
2 a : the period of time when a person is alive


• She knew what she wanted to do early in life. [=when she was young]
• He became famous relatively late in life. [=at a relatively old age]
• He became famous later in life. = He became famous in later life.


• She was happy and healthy for most of her life.
• The people in her family tend to have long/short lives.
• I've known her all my life.
• He is nearing the end of his life.
• They spent their whole/entire lives in one town. = They lived in one town all their lives.
• People can expect to change jobs several times in their life/lives.
• They've been waiting their whole/entire life/lives for an opportunity like this.
• This is the financial opportunity of his life. [=of his lifetime; the best chance in his life to make money]
b : the experience of being alive


• What do you really want out of life?
• He believes in living life to the fullest. [=in living a very full and rich life]
• All this paperwork has made life much more difficult.
• The details of everyday/ordinary life can be fascinating.
life in the city/country = city/country life
• Sometimes life just isn't fair.
• We can laugh at things in movies that would scare us in real life. [=in a real situation; in actual existence]
• Oh well, that's life! [=bad things will happen, and you have to deal with them]
• Despite the political upheaval, for most people life goes on as usual. [=the activities of life continue in the usual way]


• What do you really want to do with your life?
• Her children say that she has ruined their lives.
• She talked about the men in her life. [=the men she has had a romantic or close relationship with during her life]
• She has dedicated/devoted her life to helping other people.
• All this paperwork has made my life much more difficult.
• They're trying to get/put their lives back together. [=to begin living in a normal way after suffering loss, hardship, etc.]
• She was the love of my life. [=the person I loved more than any other person at any time in my life]
• I've never heard such a silly idea in all my life! [=at any time] = Never in my life have I heard such a silly idea!
• They're old enough to run/live their own lives. [=to make their own decisions about how to live]
• After all the problems they've had recently, they just want to get/move on with their lives. [=to continue living their lives in the usual way]
• I'm not surprised that I didn't get the job. That's the story of my life. [=that's the way things usually or always happen in my life]
- often used before another noun
• She told us her life story. [=she told us about many of the things that had happened to her in her life]
• a lack of life experience [=experience and knowledge gained through living]
✦If your life flashes/passes before your eyes or if your life flashes/passes before you, many memories from different parts of your life quickly appear in your mind one after the other.
• Her life flashed before her eyes when her car was about to crash.
3 [count]
a : a specified part of a person's life
• He talked about his life as an artist.
• the social lives of college students
• How's your love/sex life?
• They had difficult home lives when they were children.
• They are trying to keep their personal/private lives separate from their public lives.
• the responsibilities of their family life
b : a specified way or manner of living
• He lived/led a life of crime. [=he was a criminal]
• They have lived/led sheltered lives.
• He is trying to make a better life for himself and his family.
✦Your way of life is how you live your life.
• a fisherman's way of life
• Most people don't approve of my way of life.
• a traditional way of life
4 [count] : the state or condition of being alive
• They spared the horse's life. [=they did not kill the horse]
• She feels that her life is in danger. = She fears for her life. = She is in fear for her life. [=she feels that she is in danger of being killed]
• She risked her life [=she did something very dangerous that could have resulted in her death] to help him.
• She gave/sacrificed her life [=she did something that resulted in her death] for her country.
• He was running for his life. [=he was running to escape from great danger]
• He is fighting for his life. [=he is very sick or injured and may die]
• A would-be assassin made an attempt on the President's life. [=tried to kill the President]
5 [noncount] : living things of a specified kind or in a specified place
• There may be a great deal of animal/plant life still to be discovered in this region.
• forest life
• ocean life
• Will we ever find intelligent life on other planets?
6 : the time when something can be used : the period when something exists or is useful or effective


• battery life
• the life of an insurance policy
• They claim that using their product will extend the life of the car.
• a warranty that is good for the life of the product


• a product that extends the lives of the rugs/cars
- see also half-life, shelf life
7 [noncount]
a : energy and spirit
• eyes full of life
• (informal) suck the life out of a room [=take all the fun and energy out of a group of people in a room]
b : activity and movement
• The streets were humming with life. [=the streets were filled with people and activity]
• There were no signs of life in the deserted village.
8 [count] : a book that tells about the life of a person : biography
• She wrote a life of Napoleon.
• Boswell's Life of Johnson
9 [noncount] : the punishment of being kept in a prison for the rest of your life : life imprisonment
• He was found guilty and sentenced to life. = (informal) He got life. = He was given life.
a dog's life
- see 1dog
a life of its own
✦Something that takes on a life of its own becomes very large, important, or hard to control.
• The project soon took on a life of its own and prevented us from getting any other work done.
• The story took on a life of its own and began to appear on news broadcasts everywhere.
all walks of life or every walk of life
- see 2walk
a matter of life and death : something that is extremely important and often involves decisions that will determine whether someone lives or dies
• Being prepared for severe weather can be a matter of life and death.
- see also life-and-death
a new lease on/of life
- see 1lease
(as) big as life US or chiefly Brit (as) large as life informal : in person - used to describe the surprise of seeing someone
• I never expected her to come to the party, but there she was, as big as life.
bet/stake your life on
✦If you would bet/stake your life on something, you are very sure that it will happen.
• “Will she keep her promise?” “I'd bet/stake my life on it!”
breathe (new) life into : to give new energy and excitement to (something)
• She is credited with breathing new life into contemporary art.
• The singer managed to breathe life into some tired old songs.
bring someone or something back to life : to cause someone or something that has died to begin living again
• The story is about a mad scientist who tries to bring dead people back to life.
- often used figuratively
• They're trying to bring the restaurant back to life by introducing a new menu.
• an old theory that is being brought back to life
bring something to life : to make something very interesting, appealing, or exciting
• She brings history to life with her books.
come to life
1 : to become very interesting, appealing, or exciting
• The movie really comes to life when she appears on the screen.
2 of a place : to become filled with the energy and excitement of active people
• Downtown comes to life each night when the clubs open.
3 or sputter/roar (etc.) to life of a machine : to begin working
• The engine suddenly roared to life.
depart this life
- see depart
for dear life : very tightly or quickly because of fear or danger
• He was hanging/holding on to the rope for dear life.
• They were running for dear life to get away from the vicious dogs.
for life : for the whole of your life : for the rest of your life
• They met in college and have remained friends for life.
• He was sentenced to prison for life.
for the life of me informal : in any way at all - used to say that you are unable to remember or understand something
• I couldn't for the life of me remember what her name was.
For the life of me, I can't think of any reasons why you wouldn't want a computer at home.
frighten/scare the life out of informal : to frighten (someone) very badly
• You (nearly) scared the life out of me when you startled me like that!
from life of a painting, drawing, etc. : from looking at an actual person, object, etc.
• drawings done from life rather than from photographs
get a life informal : to stop spending time doing or thinking about things that are not important or interesting : to begin to have a more interesting or exciting life
• My girlfriend's parents are nice people, but all they do is watch TV all day. They need to get a life.
larger than life
- see 1large
lay down your life
- see lay down at 1lay
life depends on
✦If your life depends on something, then you must do it.
• His life depends on how he answers this question.
• He was studying as if his life depended on it.
- often used in negative statements
• I wouldn't eat that food if my life depended on it. [=I would never eat it]
lose your life : to die
• She nearly lost her life in a car accident.
• Many lives were lost. [=many people died]
new life
✦When something takes on (a) new life or when you give something new life or give new life to something, it becomes more active, interesting, etc.
• Plain old mashed potatoes take on a new life in this recipe.
• Falling interest rates gave new life to the housing market.
not on your life informal
- used as a very forceful way of saying “no” or “never”
• Do the government's policies really help the average worker? Not on your life.
risk life and limb : to do something that is very dangerous
• They risked life and limb to pull the child from the river.
save someone's life
- see 1save
spring into/to life
- see 2spring
staff of life
- see 1staff
such is life
- see 2such
take/claim someone's life : to cause someone's death
• Two years ago he was diagnosed with the illness that eventually took his life.
• The flood claimed many lives. [=caused the deaths of many people]
take your own life : to kill yourself
• He threatened to take his own life [=commit suicide], but no one believed him.
the life of the party US or chiefly Brit the life and soul of the party : someone who is very lively and amusing at a party or other social gathering
the light of your life
- see 1light
the next life or the life to come : a life that is believed by some people to come after death
• He believed that he would see his family again in the next life.
the simple life
- see simple
to save your life
- see 1save
true to life
- see 1true

- see also fact of life, good life, slice-of-life, still life



  1. What wishes do you have for your life?
  2. What wishes do you have for your family?
  3. What are your wishes for your country? Do you think they'll come true soon?
  4. Can you remember your wishes as a child/teenager? How have they changed?
  5. If you have a wish that your family doesn’t like/agree, what will you do?
  6.  Would you be happy if all your wishes came true?
  7. Do you try hard for your wishes to come true or do you just wish for them?

Positive Thinking

  1. Is positive thinking a strong belief in your life?
  2. What is the philosophy of positive thinking? How does positive thinking work?
  3. How can positive thinking help you in your personal life?
  4. Do you know anyone who practices positive thinking seriously? Do you find it encouraging or irritating?
  5. How can the power of positive thinking change your approach to problem solving?
  6. How can you apply positive thinking in practice?
  7. How can we say positive thinking from false hope and  self deception?


  1. Are you interested in making lists? What kind of list do you usually make?
  2. Do you need plans to start an activity, like learning a new language?
  3. Imagine that you need to plan a party. What kind of details do you include in your plan (number and name of guests, food,…)?
  4. Do you plan your trips or are you a last minute type of person? Do you make a list of things you have to pack?
  5. Don't you think that planning can spoil the fun and surprise of a journey?


  1. Do you like your name? What does it mean?
  2. Who chose your name? Why did they choose this name for you?
  3. If you wanted to change your name, what name would you choose?
  4. When you have children, what would you call them?
  5. Do you think a person's name can influence his/her life/ character? Give examples.
  6. What is the most common boy/girl's name in your country? Do you like to have a common name or a distinctive one?
  7. Do women change their name after marriage? What do you think about it?


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