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

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 If the Russians and NASA aren't fully confident in that launch vehicle, a Soyuz spacecraft could possibly be launched empty to the station and replace the existing Soyuz as a lifeboat for the three astronauts on orbit. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "On Thursday a rocket failed. Three humans remain on the ISS. What’s next?," 11 Oct. 2018 In the darkness and high seas, several other lifeboats and rafts drifted away toward the Mull of Oa, the rugged, southern shore of Islay, where 600-foot cliffs and offshore jagged rocks and boulders created especially treacherous breakers. Richard Kurin, Smithsonian, "A Hundred-Year-Old Handmade American Flag Flies Home… to Scotland," 30 Apr. 2018 The Coast Guard dispatched a 47-foot motor lifeboat from the Barnegat Light Station and sent an urgent message to ships at sea to be on the lookout for the rowboat. Joseph A. Gambardello,, "Coast Guard rescues would-be trans-Atlantic rower off New Jersey coast," 5 June 2018 Some people made it out on lifeboats, but about 45 died, Trotter said. Ann Zaniewski, Detroit Free Press, "8 undiscovered shipwrecks of the Great Lakes," 22 June 2018 To save money in the 1960s, the towers had been built with too few exit stairs, just as the Titanic was sent out with too few lifeboats. New York Times, "The Last 9/11 Fire Chief Bows Out," 10 July 2018 Three photos and a handwritten note detailing the grisly discovery of Titanic’s last lifeboat were sold for $6,800. James Rogers, Fox News, "Rare Titanic rescue letters surface," 19 Apr. 2018 Early Monday, the lifeboat crew found the Sleipnir and rescued Hutchinson, the Coast Guard said. Joseph A. Gambardello,, "Coast Guard rescues would-be trans-Atlantic rower off New Jersey coast," 5 June 2018

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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Last Updated

24 Feb 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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