life·line | \ˈlīf-ˌlīn \

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

During the drought, groundwater became a lifeline in this part of the Valley. Dale Kasler And Phillip Reese, sacbee, "The Valley floor is sinking, and it’s crippling California’s ability to deliver water," 13 July 2018 While Denver’s best offer was peanuts compared to his theoretical value during his Boston days, the deal looks a lifeline. Ben Golliver,, "Grades: Isaiah Thomas Can Rejuvenate Career in Nuggets' Low-Risk Gamble," 13 July 2018 Each game is played for a specific grade level and lasts about 10 minutes, with six players as contestants, 12 wheel spinners and two or three lifelines to help with questions, if needed. Chuck Fieldman,, "Darien man's master thesis game Wheel of Wisdom still alive after 33 years," 6 July 2018 According to experts, services like the lifeline are just one piece in a bigger and more complicated puzzle. Jessica Ravitz, CNN, "Calls to suicide prevention hotline spiked after celebrity deaths, but what's the next step?," 12 June 2018 The lifeline connects to a free suicide prevention network of over 160 local crisis centers. Gina Martinez, Time, "Suicide Hotline Calls Spiked 25% After Kate Spade's Death," 11 June 2018 One, the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, also provided a lifeline by handing out bottles of water on the summer day. Danny Robbins, ajc, "Thousands rally in Atlanta to protect immigration policy," 30 June 2018 Image The Greek yogurt maker Chobani is parting ways with TPG — the private equity firm that gave the company a financial lifeline in 2014 — and bringing on a new investor, the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan. David Gelles, New York Times, "Chobani, the Greek Yogurt Maker, Reclaims Control of Its Finances," 28 June 2018 Two stunning second-half goals from Ahmed Musa sunk Iceland, who faded badly after half-time and missed an 82nd minute penalty, which could have given them a lifeline, when Gylfi Sigurddsson blazed over the bar. Daniel Hicks,, "Iceland coach Hallgrimsson: 'we are still in the race'," 22 June 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near lifeline





life list



Statistics for lifeline

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lifeline

The first known use of lifeline was in 1700

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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)

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Comments on lifeline

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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