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 Lowe commanded Titanic’s lifeboat 14 and retrieved survivors from the icy waters. Fox News, "Titanic hero's whistle, other artifacts, up for auction," 12 June 2020 The West German vessel and its 28-person crew vanished, leaving behind just four lifeboats, three shipping containers, and a handful of flotation devices. Quanta Magazine, "The Grand Unified Theory of Rogue Waves," 5 Feb. 2020 The lunar module, their lifeboat, had no heat shield and would be useless in re-entry. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Apollo 13 astronauts and flight controllers reflect on a 'successful failure'," 13 Apr. 2020 The managers have the first-class cabins and core workers get en-suite accommodation but the freelancers and contractors are clinging unsteadily to the lifeboats. The Economist, "Bartleby The pandemic may exacerbate the divide among workers," 8 Apr. 2020 These medical devices are critical to the survival of some patients with extreme COVID-19 cases — lifeboats for drowning lungs. NBC News, "A small Seattle firm is working around the clock to make lifesaving ventilators for coronavirus patients," 17 Mar. 2020 The body of one man was pulled out of the sea by a lifeboat from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and followed a seven-hour search that involved a Royal Navy vessel. Pan Pylas, USA TODAY, "UK faces Storm Dennis; 2 found dead in rough seas," 16 Feb. 2020 This final stage involved installing lifeboats, guns and more than 50,000 other items. Gary Kamiya,, "Marin County shipyard was built in a hurry after Pearl Harbor. It helped win World War II," 20 Mar. 2020 Those aboard evacuated to lifeboats around 2:30 a.m., then floated in the cold for more than three hours before another ship, the cruise liner Nordnorge, rescued them. Paige Mcclanahan, New York Times, "Tourism in Antarctica: Edging Toward the (Risky) Mainstream," 26 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for lifeboat

Time Traveler

The first known use of lifeboat was in 1797

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Last Updated

19 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lifeboat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce lifeboat (audio)

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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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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