life·​line | \ ˈlīf-ˌlīn How to pronounce lifeline (audio) \

Definition of lifeline

1 : a line (such as a rope) used for saving or preserving life: such as
a : a line along the outer edge of the deck of a boat or ship
b : a line used to keep contact with a person (such as a diver or astronaut) in a dangerous or potentially dangerous situation
2 : something regarded as indispensable for the maintaining or protection of life

Examples of lifeline in a Sentence

The river is the town's lifeline. The new jobs were an economic lifeline for a city in need of help. The radio was their lifeline to the outside world. They threw a lifeline to the man overboard.
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Recent Examples on the Web With the memory-laden and stress-filled anniversary approaching on Thursday, lawmakers say the Gallery Group is proving to be their lifeline. Los Angeles Times, 5 Jan. 2022 No matter the security system, perhaps the most important factor is the call center — your emergency lifeline. Washington Post, 14 Dec. 2021 Nassib's cleats featured the Trevor Project's name printed in bright orange and the number to its suicide prevention lifeline: 1-866-488-7386. NBC News, 13 Dec. 2021 As for the gold, new — and unlikely — recruit Alicia Sierra (Najwa Nimri) is tasked with tracking down their lifeline. Alamin Yohannes,, 4 Dec. 2021 Her friendship with the man who received Emily’s heart has become her sole lifeline with humanity. Oline H. Cogdill,, 25 Oct. 2021 If users are Facebook’s lifeblood, then advertisers are its lifeline. Forrester, Forbes, 15 Oct. 2021 All this may seem a minor inconvenience — but for some bands, merch is their lifeline. David Browne, Rolling Stone, 1 Oct. 2021 His taprooms closed temporarily, and sales around the state were their lifeline. Kristine M. Kierzek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 13 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lifeline.' 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 lifeline

1700, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for lifeline

Time Traveler

The first known use of lifeline was in 1700

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Dictionary Entries Near lifeline



life list

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Statistics for lifeline

Last Updated

22 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lifeline.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for lifeline



English Language Learners Definition of lifeline

: something which provides help or support that is needed for success or survival
: a rope used for saving the life of someone (such as someone who has fallen into water)

More from Merriam-Webster on lifeline

Nglish: Translation of lifeline for Spanish Speakers


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