a matter of life and death

Definition of a matter of life and death

  1. :  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.

Word by Word Definitions

matterplay
  1. :  a subject under consideration

    :  a subject of disagreement or litigation

    :  the events or circumstances of a particular situation

  1. :  to form or discharge pus :  suppurate

    :  to be of importance :  signify

lifeplay
  1. :  the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body

    :  a principle or force that is considered to underlie the distinctive quality of animate beings

    :  an organismic state characterized by capacity for metabolism (see metabolism 1), growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction

  1. :  of or relating to animate being

    :  lifelong

    :  using a living model

deathplay
  1. :  a permanent cessation of all vital (see vital 1b) functions :  the end of life — compare brain death

    :  an instance of dying

    :  the cause or occasion of loss of life


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