• WordNet 3.6
    • n lifeboat a strong sea boat designed to rescue people from a sinking ship
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Lifeboat līf"bōt` A strong, buoyant boat especially designed for saving the lives of shipwrecked people.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n lifeboat A boat constructed for the special purpose of saving life at sea in stormy weather, especially in case of shipwreck. Life-boats are sharp at both ends, and those carried by ships are light and strong, and of great buoyancy, obtained either by air-chambers of metal or by cork cylinders under the thwarts. On the coasts of the United States and Great Britain and of some other countries, life-boats are stationed at intervals along the shore, to assist shipwrecked seamen. These boats vary in construction, according to the nature of the coast. On the sandy sea-coast of the United States a light surf-boat is used, while on the shores of the British Isles and on the great American lakes a much heavier boat is in common use.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Lifeboat a boat for saving shipwrecked persons, having air-chambers or the like, by which it is rendered specially buoyant and sometimes self-righting
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. líf; Ice. líf, Sw. lif, Dut. lijf, body, life; Ger. leben, to live.


In literature:

Aside from lifeboat drill there was little to occupy the boys.
"Ned, Bob and Jerry on the Firing Line" by Clarence Young
The coxswain, therefore, telegraphed for the Watchet Lifeboat to proceed to the rescue.
"The King's Post" by R. C. Tombs
They managed to reach the lightship in their lifeboats just as their vessel sank.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume III (of VIII)" by Various
She went down within a few minutes, although about a hundred men managed to reach the lifeboats and rafts.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume IV (of 8)"
Her steering gear was shot away after an hour's chase, when the captain hove to and lifeboats were lowered.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume VI (of VIII)" by Various
Passengers appeared from the lee of lifeboats.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science April 1930" by Various
Thorpe looked about him to note the lifeboats snug and undisturbed in their places.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, June, 1930" by Various
She is there because where she should have had lifeboats she had French cafes instead, and sun parlors for the ladies.
"The Harbor" by Ernest Poole
Some who remembered that there was such a thing, tore at the ropes which held the single lifeboat.
"Carmen Ariza" by Charles Francis Stocking
There's no way of getting either to those ships or to the lifeboats.
"Lion Loose" by James H. Schmitz
Then, suddenly, along comes a sea, bigger'n any before, an' it takes that lifeboat 'n' chucks us back on the mush-ice, bang!
"The Boy With the U. S. Life-Savers" by Francis Rolt-Wheeler
But the Bishop comes to the front like he'd heard a call to man the lifeboat.
"Side-stepping with Shorty" by Sewell Ford
Lifeboats had been smashed in their davits.
"Astounding Stories, June, 1931" by Various
He drifted for a time on the collapsible boat, until he was taken off into one of the lifeboats.
"Titanic" by Filson Young
Eyes wet, Gene gave the orders to abandon ship, and within thirty minutes every living soul was aboard the lifeboat.
"The Hell Ship" by Raymond Alfred Palmer
The lifeboat lay motionless upon the mirror-smooth surface of the ocean.
"Triplanetary" by Edward Elmer Smith
She was a little regretful she had no perfume; that was something they didn't put into lifeboats.
"A Woman's Place" by Mark Irvin Clifton
To maintain a lifeboat station in a good state L70 per annum is needed.
"Speeches and Addresses of H. R. H. the Prince of Wales: 1863-1888" by Edward VII
I'll go for him and then I'll catch the other lifeboat.
"The Battleship Boys' First Step Upward" by Frank Gee Patchin
The day got hotter and hotter, so we sat in the lifeboat and enjoyed the view.
"My Diary in Serbia: April 1, 1915-Nov. 1, 1915" by Monica M. Stanley

In poetry:

And as the lifeboat drew near,
The poor sailors raised a faint cheer;
And all the lifeboat men saw was a solitary mast,
And some sailors clinging to it, while the ahip was sinking fast.
"The Wreck of the 'Indian Chief'" by William Topaz McGonagall
But, thank God, out of twenty-nine eleven were saved,
Owing to the way the lifeboat men behaved;
And when they landed with the eleven wreckers at Ramsgate,
The people's joy was very great.
"The Wreck of the 'Indian Chief'" by William Topaz McGonagall
Charles Tait, the coxswain of the lifeboat, was a skilful boatman,
And the bravery he and his crew displayed was really grand;
For his men were hardy and a very heroic set,
And for bravery their equals it would be hard to get.
"The Wreck of the 'Indian Chief'" by William Topaz McGonagall
Home along, home along, 'tis maybe not the same
Wi' no one left but old men there, the faint 'earts an' the lame;
Who'll pull my oar to lifeboat now, when the blue lights burn at sea,
Home along, home along, in the West Countrie?
"Home Along" by Cicely Fox Smith
And at daybreak on Sunday morning the men in the lifeboat
Were picked up by the schooner "Waterbird" as towards her they did float,
And landed at Weymouth, and made all right
By the authorities, who felt for them in their sad plight.
"The Collision in the English Channel" by William Topaz McGonagall
Then the bold crew launched the lifeboat, without dismay,
While their hearts did throb, but not a word did they say;
They they tried to launch the port lifeboat, but in that they failed,
Owing to the heavy sea, so their sad fate they bewailed.
"The Collision in the English Channel" by William Topaz McGonagall

In news:

LIfeboat Prepares to Retrace Shackleton's Antarctic Voyage.
Lifeboat Alexandra Shackleton': Photo credit Shacketon Epic.
It's like having a lifeboat collapse under you in a roiling ocean.
In a file photo, the Titanic sinks as lifeboats are rowed away in this scene from the epic film.
Undated publicity photograph shows Indian actor Sharma playing character Pi, standing near a tiger in a lifeboat, one of props used in film "Life of Pi" by director Lee.
There are not enough seats in the steel lifeboat for everybody.
A 'Titanic' event – no lifeboat required: Marco Polo restaurant to recreate last dinner aboard the ship.
New photos show lifeboats spilling out of the Costa Concordia after the cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Italy.
Survivors of the Titanic disaster in a crowded lifeboat.
After a shipwreck, Pi (Suraj Sharma) finds himself uneasily sharing a lifeboat with… (20th Century Fox ).
Now that Pat Shurmur 's lifeboat is inflated, can he paddle it to safety.
The Star Ledger The Coast Guard scrambled last week to respond to a caller who claimed his boat had exploded and 21 people were on lifeboats.
Amadeo and Gracie Tasca kept their balance aboard the pitching vessel of downtown West Palm Beach while their contemporaries piled into lifeboats and fled.
New lifeboats in £42m investment.
"Life of Pi"'s lifeboat is for sale on Gilt Home's site.