lif·​er | \ ˈlī-fər \

Definition of lifer

1 : a person sentenced to imprisonment for life
2 : a person who makes a career of one of the armed forces
3 : a person who has made a lifelong commitment (as to a way of life)

Examples of lifer in a Sentence

He was a lifer at the factory.

Recent Examples on the Web

Smackdown is Paige's house After retiring from the ring on Raw in an emotional speech, Paige, a wrestling lifer, became the general manager of Smackdown on Tuesday, replacing Bryan. Gene Guillot,, "The best 34 parts of an awesome WrestleMania week," 12 Apr. 2018 Last week, the company named Alan Jope, a Unilever lifer who currently heads its beauty and personal-care division, as its next chief executive. Saabira Chaudhuri, WSJ, "Unilever to Buy Horlicks, One of India’s Biggest Brands, From GSK," 3 Dec. 2018 Like Matt Bayes, like Norma Morris, Fugate is an Austin lifer. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: Austin hopes a new ballfield can help in its battle with opioids and HIV," 21 June 2018 At least one lifer, a man who personally saw many of the squads in contention for the title of best ever, agrees. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Boston Red Sox: Greatest Season of All Time?," 29 Oct. 2018 Like Edward Dolman at Christie's, Ruprecht was a lifer who had ascended from the bottom of the auction house (in his case, a summer job as a typist). Vicky Ward, Town & Country, "Buyer's Remorse: Inside the Art World's Billion-Dollar Rivalry," 4 Mar. 2015 Pennsylvania at that time had the largest juvenile-lifer population in the nation. Samantha Melamed,, "Why are juvenile lifers from Philly getting radically different sentences than those in the rest of Pennsylvania?," 10 July 2018 At 70, Romney is not planning to become a congressional lifer. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Is Mitt Romney the future or the past of the Republican Party?," 2 Feb. 2018 Goodrum, now 26, is bound to be a baseball lifer because of that approach to the game. George Stoia, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers utilityman Niko Goodrum driven 'like Michael Jordan'," 8 July 2018

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

1827, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for lifer

Last Updated

6 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for lifer

The first known use of lifer was in 1827

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English Language Learners Definition of lifer

US : a person who spends an entire career in the same job
: a criminal who has been sentenced to spend the rest of his or her life in prison

More from Merriam-Webster on lifer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lifer

Comments on lifer

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


a servile follower or underling

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