What does life mean?

Here's a list of possible definitions for the term life:

Princeton's WordNet

  1. life(noun)

    a characteristic state or mode of living

    "social life"; "city life"; "real life"

  2. life, living(noun)

    the experience of being alive; the course of human events and activities

    "he could no longer cope with the complexities of life"

  3. life(noun)

    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"

  4. animation, life, living, aliveness(noun)

    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"

  5. life, lifetime, life-time, lifespan(noun)

    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"

  6. life(noun)

    the period between birth and the present time

    "I have known him all his life"

  7. life(noun)

    the period from the present until death

    "he appointed himself emperor for life"

  8. life(noun)

    a living person

    "his heroism saved a life"

  9. liveliness, life, spirit, sprightliness(noun)

    animation and energy in action or expression

    "it was a heavy play and the actors tried in vain to give life to it"

  10. life(noun)

    living things collectively

    "the oceans are teeming with life"

  11. life(noun)

    the organic phenomenon that distinguishes living organisms from nonliving ones

    "there is no life on the moon"

  12. biography, life, life story, life history(noun)

    an account of the series of events making up a person's life

  13. life(noun)

    a motive for living

    "pottery was his life"

  14. life sentence, life(noun)

    a prison term lasting as long as the prisoner lives

    "he got life for killing the guard"


  1. life(Noun)

    The state that follows birth, and precedes death; the state of being alive and living.

  2. life(Noun)

    The period during which one (a person, an animal, a plant, a star) is alive.

  3. life(Noun)

    The span of time during which an object operates.

    This light bulb is designed to have a life of 2,000 hours.

  4. life(Noun)

    The period of time during which an object is recognizable.

    The life of this milk carton may be thousands of years in this landfill.

  5. life(Noun)

    A status given to any entity including animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, etc. u2014 and sometimes viruses u2014 having the properties of replication and metabolism.

  6. life(Noun)

    The essence of the manifestation and the foundation of the being.

  7. life(Noun)

    the subjective and inner manifestation of the individual.

  8. life(Noun)

    The world in general; existence.

    Man's life on this planet has been marked by continual conflict.

  9. life(Noun)

    A worthwhile existence.

    He gets up early in the morning, works all day long u2014 even on weekends u2014 and hardly sees his family. That's no life!

  10. life(Noun)

    The most worthwhile component or participant

  11. life(Noun)

    A biography.

    His life of the founder is finished, except for the title.

  12. life(Noun)

    Something which is inherently part of a person's existence, such as job, family, a loved one, etc.

    She's my love, my life.

  13. life(Noun)

    A life sentence; a term of imprisonment of a convict until his or her death.

  14. life(Noun)

    One of the player's chances to play, lost when a mistake is made.

    Scoring 1000 points is rewarded with an extra life.

  15. Life(ProperNoun)


  16. Origin: From lif, lyf, from lif, from līban, from lībanan, from leyp-. Cognate with life, leif, liff, liif, Dutch lijf, lif, German Leib, Swedish liv, líf. Related to belive.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Life(noun)

    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

  2. Life(noun)

    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

  3. Life(noun)

    the potential principle, or force, by which the organs of animals and plants are started and continued in the performance of their several and cooperative functions; the vital force, whether regarded as physical or spiritual

  4. Life(noun)

    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

  5. Life(noun)

    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

  6. Life(noun)

    animation; spirit; vivacity; vigor; energy

  7. Life(noun)

    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

  8. Life(noun)

    the living or actual form, person, thing, or state; as, a picture or a description from the life

  9. Life(noun)

    a person; a living being, usually a human being; as, many lives were sacrificed

  10. Life(noun)

    the system of animal nature; animals in general, or considered collectively

  11. Life(noun)

    an essential constituent of life, esp. the blood

  12. Life(noun)

    a history of the acts and events of a life; a biography; as, Johnson wrote the life of Milton

  13. Life(noun)

    enjoyment in the right use of the powers; especially, a spiritual existence; happiness in the favor of God; heavenly felicity

  14. Life(noun)

    something dear to one as one's existence; a darling; -- used as a term of endearment

  15. Origin: [AS. lf; akin to D. lijf body, G. leib body, MHG. lp life, body, OHG. lb life, Icel. lf, life, body, Sw. lif, Dan. liv, and E. live, v. 119. See Live, and cf. Alive.]


  1. Life

    Life is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have signaling and self-sustaining processes from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased, or else because they lack such functions and are classified as inanimate. Biology is the science concerned with the study of life. Any contiguous living system is called an organism. Organisms undergo metabolism, maintain homeostasis, possess a capacity to grow, respond to stimuli, reproduce and, through natural selection, adapt to their environment in successive generations. More complex living organisms can communicate through various means. A diverse array of living organisms can be found in the biosphere of Earth, and the properties common to these organisms—plants, animals, fungi, protists, archaea, and bacteria—are a carbon- and water-based cellular form with complex organization and heritable genetic information. Scientific evidence suggests that life began on Earth approximately 3.5 billion years ago. The mechanism by which life emerged on Earth is unknown although many hypotheses have been formulated. Since then, life has evolved into a wide variety of forms, which biologists have classified into a hierarchy of taxa. Life can survive and thrive in a wide range of conditions. The meaning of life—its significance, origin, purpose, and ultimate fate—is a central concept and question in philosophy and religion. Both philosophy and religion have offered interpretations as to how life relates to existence and consciousness, and on related issues such as life stance, purpose, conception of a god or gods, a soul or an afterlife. Different cultures throughout history have had widely varying approaches to these issues.

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. life

    1. An ante-mortem statement; the intrigue of force and matter; the insomnia of death; a log-jam on the stream of life. 2. The pursuit of the superfluous. 3. The cupola of a tomb. 4. A game something like Blind Man's Buff. 5. The paradise of liars. 6. A compromise between Fate and Freewill. 7. A warfare between the sexes. 8. What you choose to make it. 9. A bank-account with so much divine energy at your disposal. 10. Just one improper number after another. 11. The interval between the time your teeth are almost through and you are almost through with your teeth. 12. An affirmative between two negatives.

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. life

    1. A cellular-automata game invented by John Horton Conway and first introduced publicly by Martin Gardner (Scientific American, October 1970); the game's popularity had to wait a few years for computers on which it could reasonably be played, as it's no fun to simulate the cells by hand. Many hackers pass through a stage of fascination with it, and hackers at various places contributed heavily to the mathematical analysis of this game (most notably Bill Gosper at MIT, who even implemented life in TECO!). When a hacker mentions ‘life’, he is much more likely to mean this game than the magazine, the breakfast cereal, or the human state of existence. Many web resources are available starting from the Open Directory page of Life. The Life Lexicon is a good indicator of what makes the game so fascinating.A glider, possibly the best known of the quasi-organic phenomena in the Game of Life. 2. The opposite of Usenet. As in “Get a life!”

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Life

    The state that distinguishes organisms from inorganic matter, manifested by growth, metabolism, reproduction, and adaptation. It includes the course of existence, the sum of experiences, the mode of existing, or the fact of being. Over the centuries inquiries into the nature of life have crossed the boundaries from philosophy to biology, forensic medicine, anthropology, etc., in creative as well as scientific literature. (Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed; Dr. James H. Cassedy, NLM History of Medicine Division)

Editors Contribution

  1. Life

    Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.

  2. life

    the existence period of living beings or the period between birth and death.

    Life is short, live it beautifully.

  3. Life

    Life is a one time experience. Thus, endeavour to give it all you've got now that you are still alive.

    Emeasoba George

  4. Life

    Life is direct opposite of Death. And Death itself is the End of life.

    Emeasoba George

Suggested Resources

  1. life

    Song lyrics by life -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by life on the Lyrics.com website.

  2. LIFE

    What does LIFE stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the LIFE acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'life' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #136

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'life' in Written Corpus Frequency: #330

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'life' in Nouns Frequency: #12

How to pronounce life ?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say life in sign language?

  1. life


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of life in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of life in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of life in a Sentence

  1. Bilal Muneer:

    Love is Life.

  2. Diane Von Furstenberg:

    Life is a risk.

  3. Chad Pfeifer:

    Golf saved my life.

  4. David March:

    I got my life back.

  5. Bryant McGill:

    Life is a practice.

Images & Illustrations of life

  1. lifelifelifelifelife

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