• WordNet 3.6
    • n life living things collectively "the oceans are teeming with life"
    • n life animation and energy in action or expression "it was a heavy play and the actors tried in vain to give life to it"
    • n life the experience of being alive; the course of human events and activities "he could no longer cope with the complexities of life"
    • n life an account of the series of events making up a person's life
    • n life a motive for living "pottery was his life"
    • n life a living person "his heroism saved a life"
    • n life the organic phenomenon that distinguishes living organisms from nonliving ones "there is no life on the moon"
    • n life the course of existence of an individual; the actions and events that occur in living "he hoped for a new life in Australia","he wanted to live his own life without interference from others"
    • n life the condition of living or the state of being alive "while there's life there's hope","life depends on many chemical and physical processes"
    • n life a characteristic state or mode of living "social life","city life","real life"
    • n life the period during which something is functional (as between birth and death) "the battery had a short life","he lived a long and happy life"
    • n life the period between birth and the present time "I have known him all his life"
    • n life the period from the present until death "he appointed himself emperor for life"
    • n life a prison term lasting as long as the prisoner lives "he got life for killing the guard"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Life's Little Ironies Life's Little Ironies
Them tramps set there lookin' so sassy and lazy, nateral as life Them tramps set there lookin' so sassy and lazy, nateral as life
Still Life, No. 1 Still Life, No. 1
Still Life, No. 2 Still Life, No. 2
Still Life, No. 3 Still Life, No. 3
Still Life, No. 4 Still Life, No. 4
Still Life, No. 5 Still Life, No. 5

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The average life span of a peasant during the medieval ages was 25 years
    • Life A certain way or manner of living with respect to conditions, circumstances, character, conduct, occupation, etc.; hence, human affairs; also, lives, considered collectively, as a distinct class or type; as, low life; a good or evil life; the life of Indians, or of miners. "That which before us lies in daily life .""By experience of life abroad in the world.""Lives of great men all remind us
      We can make our lives sublime."
      "'T is from high life high characters are drawn."
    • Life A history of the acts and events of a life; a biography; as, Johnson wrote the life of Milton.
    • Life A person; a living being, usually a human being; as, many lives were sacrificed.
    • Life An essential constituent of life, esp: the blood. "The words that I speak unto you . . . they are life .""The warm life came issuing through the wound."
    • Life Animation; spirit; vivacity; vigor; energy. "No notion of life and fire in fancy and in words.""That gives thy gestures grace and life ."
    • Life Enjoyment in the right use of the powers; especially, a spiritual existence; happiness in the favor of God; heavenly felicity.
    • Life Figuratively: The potential or animating principle, also, the period of duration, of anything that is conceived of as resembling a natural organism in structure or functions; as, the life of a state, a machine, or a book; authority is the life of government.
    • Life Of human beings: The union of the soul and body; also, the duration of their union; sometimes, the deathless quality or existence of the soul; as, man is a creature having an immortal life . "She shows a body rather than a life ."
    • Life Something dear to one as one's existence; a darling; -- used as a term of endearment.
    • Life That which imparts or excites spirit or vigor; that upon which enjoyment or success depends; as, he was the life of the company, or of the enterprise.
    • Life The living or actual form, person, thing, or state; as, a picture or a description from, the life .
    • Life (Philos) The potential principle, or force, by which the organs of animals and plants are started and continued in the performance of their several and coöperative functions; the vital force, whether regarded as physical or spiritual.
    • Life The state of being which begins with generation, birth, or germination, and ends with death; also, the time during which this state continues; that state of an animal or plant in which all or any of its organs are capable of performing all or any of their functions; -- used of all animal and vegetable organisms.
    • Life The system of animal nature; animals in general, or considered collectively. "Full nature swarms with life ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: On average, Americans spend 33% of their life sleeping
    • n Life The principle of animate corporeal existence; the capacity of an animal or a plant for self-preservation and growth by the processes of assimilation and excretion, the permanent cessation of which constitutes death; that state of an animal or a plant in which its organs are in actual performance of their functions, or are capable of performing their functions, though the performance has not yet begun, or has begun but incompletely, or has been temporarily suspended; vitality.
    • n Life Duration of the animate existence of an individual; the whole or any period of animate existence; the time between birth and death, or any part of it from a given point till death: as, life is but a span; to hold office for life.
    • n Life The principle or state of conscious spiritual existence: as, the life of the soul.
    • n Life Duration of existence or activity in general; term of continuance, usefulness, or efficiency; the time during which anything lasts, or has force or validity: as, the life of a machine; the life of a lease; the enterprise had a short life.
    • n Life The state or condition of being alive; individual manifestation of existence: as, to save or lose one's life.
    • n Life Embodied vitality; vital force in material forms; living beings in the aggregate: as, a high or a low type of life; the absence of life in the desert.
    • n Life A corporeal existence; a living being; one who or that which has life; a person: now used only with reference to persons as lost or saved, but formerly of a person generally: as, many lives were lost.
    • n Life Source or means of living; that which makes or keeps alive; vivifying principle; an essential vital element, as food or the blood.
    • n Life A vital part of the body; a life-spot or vulnerable point.
    • n Life Condition, quality, manner, or course of living; career: as, high or low, married or single life; to lead a gay life; to amend one's life; the daily life of a community.
    • n Life In theology, that kind of spiritual existence which belongs to God, is manifested in Christ, and is imparted through faith to the believer; hence, a course of existence devoted to the service of God, possessed of the felicity of his fellowship, and to be consummated after death.
    • n Life An account of a person's career and actions; a personal history; a biography: as, Plutarch's Lives; Johnson's Lives of the Poets.
    • n Life Vivid show of animate existence; animation; spirit; vivacity; energy in action, thought, or expression: as, to put life into one's work.
    • n Life An animating force or influence; anything that quickens or enlivens; a source of vital energy, happiness, or enjoyment; hence, that which is dear as life (in this sense often used as an epithet of endearment): as, he was the life of the company; his books were his life.
    • n Life The living form and expression; hence, reality in appearance or representation; living semblance; actual likeness: as, to draw from the life; he looks the character to the life.
    • n Life An insurance on a person's life; a life-insurance policy.
    • n Life So as to save, or as if to save, one's life: as, to run for life; to swim for life.
    • n Life That life which belongs properly to the most vital organs, as the heart, brain, or lungs: distinguished from the more vegetative life of the organs of nutrition, for example, whose functions may be temporarily suspended without causing death.
    • n Life Synonyms Animation, Life, Liveliness, etc. See animation.
    • Life An abbreviation of God's life, used as an oath: an interjection of impatience.
    • n Life In base-ball, an opportunity given to the batsman or base-runner, through an error of the opponents, of continuing without being put out; in sports in general, an unexpected or undeserved opportunity.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The average life span of a mosquito is two weeks
    • n Life līf state of living: animate existence: union of soul and body: the period between birth and death: present state of existence: manner of living: moral conduct: animation: a living being: system of animal nature: social state: human affairs: narrative of a life: eternal happiness, also He who bestows it: a quickening principle in a moral sense: the living form and expression, living semblance:
    • interj Life used as an oath, abbreviated from God's life
    • n Life līf (cricket) an escape, as by a missed or dropped catch
    • ***


  • Logan Pearsall Smith
    “People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.”
  • Count Leo Tolstoy
    “True life is lived when tiny changes occur.”
  • Samuel Johnson
    “The love of life is necessary to the vigorous prosecution of any undertaking.”
  • Malcolm Muggeridge
    “One of the stupidest theories of Western life.”
  • Jules Renard
    “We spend our lives talking about this mystery. Our life.”
  • Natalie Clifford Barney
    “Novels are longer than life.”


Breathe life into - If you breathe life into something, you give people involved more energy and enthusiasm again. ('Breathe new life' is also used.)
Cat and dog life - If people lead a cat and dog life, they are always arguing.
Dog's life - If some has a dog's life, they have a very unfortunate and wretched life.
Facts of life - When someone is taught the facts of life, they learn about sex and reproduction.
Into each life some rain must fall - This means that bad or unfortunate things will happen to everyone at some time.
Larger than life - If something is excessive or exaggerated, it is larger than life.
Matter of life and death - If something is a matter of life and death, it is extremely important.
New lease of life - If someone finds new enthusiasm and energy for something, they have a new lease of life.
Spice of life - The spice of life is something that makes it feel worth living.
Time of your life - If you're having the time of your life, you are enjoying yourself very much indeed.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. līf,; akin to D. lijf, body, G. leib, body, MHG. līp, life, body, OHG. līb, life, Icel. līf, life, body, Sw. lif, Dan. liv, and E. live, v. √119. See Live, and cf. Alive
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. líf; Ice. líf, Sw. lif, Dut. lijf, body, life; Ger. leben, to live.


In literature:

What a life, what a life!
"Casa Braccio, Volumes 1 and 2 (of 2)" by F. Marion Crawford
That is the law of life, and the purpose of life is to grow.
"True to His Home" by Hezekiah Butterworth
As for a spoiled life, no life is spoiled but one whose growth is arrested.
"The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde
He's risked his life for his friend, thinkin' of her that's dead an' gone, and a man's life is a man's life.
"Northern Lights" by Gilbert Parker
This life is the life of nature, the life of the Spirit of God which dwells in nature.
"Holy in Christ" by Andrew Murray
You know already that every human being has a life-tree or a life-flower, just as may be ordained for him.
"Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen" by Hans Christian Andersen
That life of the mind, which is our true life, had to change its point of view in order to meet and cope with the newcomer.
"The Art of Disappearing" by John Talbot Smith
It is the duty of the father to preserve them, teach them, train them for this life, and prepare them for the life to come.
"History of Education" by Levi Seeley
Here the word "life" means nothing else than the life animating the body.
"Commentary on Genesis, Vol. II" by Martin Luther
In his early life he had been the very prototype of the hero of Cervantes.
"Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3)" by Thomas Babington Macaulay

In poetry:

Thou true life-giving Vine,
Let me Thy sweetness prove;
Renew my life with Thine,
Refresh my soul with love.
"I Hunger and I Thirst" by John Samuel Bewley Monsell
Was life so strange, so sad the sky,
So strait the wide world's range,
He would not stay to wonder why
Was life so strange?
"A Baby's Death" by Algernon Charles Swinburne
My life (young Sheepheardesse) for thee
Of needes to death must post:
But yet my greefe must stay with me,
After my life is lost.
"The Sheepheard Sylvanus His Song" by Bartholomew Young
For thou art more than life,
And if our fate should set
Life and my love at strife,
How could I then forget
I love thee more than life?
"Love's Prayer" by John Hay
MASTER of life, the day is done;
My sun of life is sinking low;
I watch the hours slip one by one
And hark the night-wind and the snow.
"The Last Prayer" by William Wilfred Campbell
Life of my life, my soul’s best part,
I could not live without thee now;
And yet this love must break my heart,
Or break a sacred vow.
"To Sanson (08)" by Madge Morris Wagner

In news:

A home-health nurse specializing in Alzheimer's, dementia and end-of-life care, Angela Townsend has turned around her own life-threatening health challenges through eating well and exercising.
The Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life offers a unique opportunity for high school students to share their thoughts on why human life deserves protection.
SOMETIMES, in a busy life, the need to make art wells up unexpectedly and turns that life around.
One measure Initiative Petition 22, defined life as beginning at fertilization and said "no person shall be denied the right to life".
I wish prosecutors would not say they're doing us a favor when they plea-bargain a premeditated murder to a sentence of life in prison ("Pair in slaying get life," May 12).
Many Marshalltown residents who believe in protecting a child's life in the womb have put pro-life yard signs on their properties.
Granted, I am for life that has quality, life that is free from hunger, homelessness, untreated disease, unplanned pregnancy, lack of education, and the carnage left by natural disasters.
Micro-Miniature Circuits Prolong Life and Improve Quality of Life.
Saturday we had to say goodbye to the love of my life, Christian Puccini , so he could move on to a better life after a long battle with brain cancer.
It could have been the last day of my life if not for a chance meeting that forever changed my life.
The Meaning Of Life Is To Give Life Meaning.
It is a time when we draw attention to the gift of life and our calling to protect all life, especially the elderly and the unborn.
"The silver lining in the November 6 elections is that Wisconsin has a right-to-life governor, Scott Walker, and strong right-to-life majorities in both houses of the Legislature".
Now that Mitt Romney has reversed his position again on the pro life / abortion issue, I would like to know what the National Right to Life has to say about his reversal.
Greensburg — The fourth annual Decatur County Right to Life "Supper for Life" will offer local residents a variety of home-cooked food Saturday evening.

In science:

This would allow psychical realities, in the sense considered here, to be present in the simplest life forms, and to predate life.
Quantum theory and the role of mind in nature
The first part of the n-fold way consists of assigning a life time to the microstate Ck .
An Introduction to Monte Carlo Simulation of Statistical physics Problem
Once we know λk we can sample a life time m from the geometric distribution as described earlier.
An Introduction to Monte Carlo Simulation of Statistical physics Problem
Well, no! Kac knew very well that randomness, the very stuff of life, could be called many things, but not simple.
Incompleteness, Complexity, Randomness and Beyond
Then, to make life easier and notation simpler, we allowed our FSTAs to use both sets as states as well.
Using Tree Automata and Regular Expressions to Manipulate Hierarchically Structured Data