life·​boat | \ ˈlīf-ˌbōt How to pronounce lifeboat (audio) \

Definition of lifeboat

: a sturdy buoyant boat (such as one carried by a ship) for use in an emergency and especially in saving lives at sea

Examples of lifeboat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Firefighters used yellow rubber lifeboats to rescue those trapped by the flood waters. Reuters, The Mercury News, "Rains pound Washington D.C.; floodwaters rise," 8 July 2019 The accident occurred Sunday during a routine safety exercise of the platform's lifeboat launch and retrieval capabilities, Shell said, although the company has not elaborated yet on how the incident occurred. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Two killed, one injured at Shell deepwater platform," 1 July 2019 The crews of both vessels — about 23 in one and 21 in the other — were evacuated in lifeboats. David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, "Tankers Are Attacked in Mideast, and U.S. Says Video Shows Iran Was Involved," 13 June 2019 In addition, captive-breeding efforts such as the Amphibian Ark could act as genetic lifeboats. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Amphibian 'apocalypse' caused by most destructive pathogen ever," 28 Mar. 2019 Or that four hours later, in the frigid dead of night, with the ship listing at 20 degrees, the captain would order every last person into the lifeboats. Sam Walker, WSJ, "The Truth About Failing Spectacularly," 16 Feb. 2019 By law, all 26 lifeboats have to be launched within 30 minutes of an evacuation order. Barbara S. Peterson, Popular Mechanics, "What Went Wrong on the Costa Concordia," 14 July 2014 The captain froze in dismay but had the good grace to go down with the ship; the chairman of the White Star Line, J. Bruce Ismay, got onto one of the lifeboats and survived, somewhat to his shame. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "Did Chivalry Go Down With the Titanic?," 14 Dec. 2018 Nancy Lofaro recalls the agonizing wait inside the lifeboat as crew members fumbled to lower it. Barbara S. Peterson, Popular Mechanics, "What Went Wrong on the Costa Concordia," 14 July 2014

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

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First Known Use of lifeboat

1797, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for lifeboat

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for lifeboat

The first known use of lifeboat was in 1797

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English Language Learners Definition of lifeboat

: a boat used for saving people's lives especially : a small boat that is carried on a ship and that is used for saving the lives of the passengers and crew if the ship sinks


life·​boat | \ ˈlīf-ˌbōt How to pronounce lifeboat (audio) \

Kids Definition of lifeboat

: a sturdy boat (as one carried by a ship) for use in an emergency

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More from Merriam-Webster on lifeboat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lifeboat

Spanish Central: Translation of lifeboat

Nglish: Translation of lifeboat for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about lifeboat

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