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 Now, Miami’s season is on life support after their first loss in eight games. Kenny Rosarion,, 2 Jan. 2022 The toddler was taken to the St. Paul Health Clinic, then was flown to Alaska Native Medical Center, where he was put on life support. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, 31 Dec. 2021 Despite high-sounding speeches, the final accord left the goal of restricting the increase in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius on life support. Tim Lister, CNN, 29 Dec. 2021 Holley was rushed to the University of Maryland Medical Center and ultimately placed on life support. Andrew Mark Miller, Fox News, 25 Dec. 2021 Mona survived several days on life support, while her family arranged for the donation of her organs, before her ultimate death on October 5. Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone, 23 Dec. 2021 Holley remains on life support at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, while Shaw was ordered held without bail Monday by a District Court judge. Justin Fenton,, 20 Dec. 2021 An ambushed Baltimore police officer on life support is described as a dedicated mother, daughter and sister, as fundraising efforts continue following the overnight shooting attack. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 20 Dec. 2021 Awards shows are on life support in terms of ratings, but one thing Hollywood loves is to celebrate itself. Lisa Respers France, CNN, 18 Dec. 2021

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

Learn More About life-support

Time Traveler for life-support

Time Traveler

The first known use of life-support was in 1959

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near life-support



life support

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for life-support

Cite this Entry

“Life-support.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for life-support

life support


English Language Learners Definition of life support

: 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


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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