life-sup·​port | \ ˈlīf-sə-ˈpȯrt How to pronounce life-support (audio) \

Definition of life-support

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: providing support necessary to sustain life especially : of or relating to a system providing such support life-support equipment

life support


Definition of life support (Entry 2 of 2)

: medical life-support equipment the patient was placed on life support

Examples of life-support in a Sentence

Noun He was removed from life support. She was put on life support. equipment providing life support for astronauts
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Antonio’s grandmother recently fell very ill and is still fighting on life support. Matt Zenitz |, al, "Alabama five-star freshman plans to enter transfer portal," 13 Sep. 2019 Starlard was hospitalized, placed on life support and died on Dec. 3, weeks after the beating. Pauline Repard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Guilty plea in beating death of man near Petco Park," 13 Sep. 2019 Even some of the candidates who made the cut for this debate seem to be on life support. Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times, "5 things to watch for in the Democratic debate on Thursday," 12 Sep. 2019 Technically nine points away from the sixth and seventh-place teams in the Western Conference with five games left, Houston’s (10-15-4, 34 points) playoff hopes are still alive although mostly on life support. Glynn A. Hill, Houston Chronicle, "Dynamo record first win under interim coach Davy Arnaud," 11 Sep. 2019 Jaidyn Moore died at the scene, while Jennifer, 46, was taken off life support later in the day after being transported to the hospital. Jim Polzin,, "'You have to keep moving forward’: Wisconsin basketball program seeks normalcy after Howard Moore tragedy," 12 Sep. 2019 Eventually, his four children decided to take him off life support, but instead of fading away, Marr miraculously began responding. Dr. Manny Alvarez | Fox News, Fox News, "How a nearly brain dead 'miracle man' survived after being taken off life support," 8 Sep. 2019 Kristopher Herronen was taken off life support Monday night at University Hospital in Mobile, the station reported. Howard Koplowitz |, al, "Report: Man struck by lightning in Gulf Shores dies," 20 Aug. 2019 In principle, this means it can be used for life support and manufacturing rocket fuel, which is arguably the main reason why NASA is planning to send astronauts to the lunar south pole in 2024. Wired, "India’s Moon Landing May Be Doomed," 6 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'life-support.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of life-support


1959, in the meaning defined above


1974, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about life-support

Statistics for life-support

Time Traveler for life-support

The first known use of life-support was in 1959

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for life-support

life support


English Language Learners Definition of life support

medical : the equipment, material, and treatment needed to keep a very sick or hurt patient alive
: the things that are needed to keep someone alive in a place (such as outer space) where life is usually not possible



Medical Definition of life-support

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: providing support necessary to sustain life especially : of, relating to, or being a life-support system life-support equipment

life support


Medical Definition of life support (Entry 2 of 2)

: equipment, material, and treatment needed to keep a seriously ill or injured patient alive research shows that if basic life support is used on serious trauma victims within four minutes and advanced life support within eight, nearly 50% of them survive— Nancy Gibbs et al was on full life support for three weeks— Richard Hoffer

More from Merriam-Webster on life-support

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with life-support

Comments on life-support

What made you want to look up life-support? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a calculated move

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!