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

Carman was rescued from a lifeboat eight days after the sinking. Dave Altimari,, "Judge hears final arguments in case of the sinking of Nathan Carman’s boat," 4 Sep. 2019 Market volatility is neither a surprise nor a reason to head for the lifeboats. James D. Schultz For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Trump's trade war with China will be worth the fight," 15 Aug. 2019 The following day, they were rescued from a broken lifeboat by the keepers of the Margaret Brock Reef Lighthouse. Fox News, "Deadly 102-year-old shipwreck discovered," 18 June 2019 Just two hours later, the ship cracked in half and sunk to the bottom of the sea, leaving 1,500 people who could not find refuge in a lifeboat to die of hypothermia. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "The Titanic Is Being Reclaimed by the Sea," 22 Aug. 2019 Crisp’s and Blair’s characters go down with the ship, while Hindley’s grabs a seat in a lifeboat garbed as a woman. Tom Titus, Daily Pilot, "On Theater: A ‘Titanic’ hit musical at the Attic Community Theatre," 12 Aug. 2019 Whilst manager Paul Lambert was polishing the brass on the Titanic, Shaqiri was angling an escape on a Liverpool lifeboat, and deservedly so., "Xherdan Shaqiri: From Relegation to Champions League Winner in 4 Short Premier League Years," 11 Aug. 2019 In Walter Lord's book about the Titanic and in investigative hearings after its 1912 sinking, it's documented that White appointed herself as a signalman for lifeboat 8, waving her walking stick about. Jennifer Mcdermott,, "Milford family sells Titanic survivor’s light-up cane for $62,500 at auction," 22 July 2019 The fire on the Grimaldi Grande America started in a container on the vessel’s deck, according to the company, and spread quickly to vehicles on board, forcing the crew to flee in a single lifeboat. Costas Paris, WSJ, "Ship Operators Raise Alarms Over String of Vessel Fires," 24 Mar. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of lifeboat

1797, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lifeboat

Statistics for lifeboat

Last Updated

8 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lifeboat

The first known use of lifeboat was in 1797

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lifeboat



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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on lifeboat

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!