life·​time | \ ˈlīf-ˌtīm How to pronounce lifetime (audio) \

Definition of lifetime

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the duration of the existence of a living being (such as a person or an animal) or a thing (such as a star or a subatomic particle)
2 : an amount accumulated or experienced in a lifetime a lifetime of regrets



Definition of lifetime (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : of long duration or continuance lifetime legislation
3 : measured or achieved over the span of a career a baseball player's lifetime batting average

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Examples of lifetime in a Sentence

Noun a lifetime spent traveling the world It would have taken me a lifetime to read all those books. Childhood seems a lifetime ago now! a chemical with a lifetime of only a few minutes the lifetime of a planet
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Meanwhile, Microsoft showed off the Surface Earbuds last October, which seems like a lifetime ago. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft launches Surface Book 3 and Surface Go 2, a new Surface Dock and Surface Headphones 2," 6 May 2020 The inaugural Legend Honor for lifetime achievement was given to Miky Lee, vice chairman of CJ Entertainment. Sharareh Drury, The Hollywood Reporter, "Bong Joon Ho, Ali Wong, Dwayne Johnson and Others Selected to A100 List of Influential Asian Americans," 1 May 2020 His parents, Florence and Louis Schroeder, watched that interest grow over their son's lifetime. Paula Schleis,, "Kent State shooting: William Schroeder loved KSU life in spring of '70, embraced ROTC," 29 Apr. 2020 Or, for a once-in-a-lifetime splurge, sign up for a trip aboard the Dunia Baru, a 167-foot traditional phinisi-style yacht that hosts up to 14 guests with 18 crew members (a dive instructor and chef included). Megan Michelson, Outside Online, "9 Unforgettable Ocean Adventures to Plan Now," 27 Apr. 2020 Last year, Schroeder was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame and was honored with the lifetime achievement award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "She shot the most famous photo in Detroit sports history. Now she needs your vote," 19 Apr. 2020 Tireless do-gooder and former Tennessee Vol Peyton Manning is auctioning off the chance at a once-in-a-lifetime golf experience. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "You and Your Friends Can Play Golf and Have Dinner with Peyton Manning," 16 Apr. 2020 Winner of a lifetime achievement Grammy earlier this year, Prine sang his conversational lyrics in a voice roughened by a difficult life, particularly after throat cancer left him with a disfigured jaw. CBS News, "Coronavirus updates: U.S. death toll tops 14,000 as New York reports deadliest day," 8 Apr. 2020 Give her all the lifetime achievement awards and Hall of Fame inductions now, please. Glamour, "53 Best ’90s Songs That Are All That and a Bag of Chips," 31 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In addition to keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops and networking, the 2019 Music Biz conference will again take time to recognize both recent and lifetime achievements. Gary Graff, Billboard, "Inside Music Biz 2019: The Power Summit's Chief James Donio On Six Decades Of Industry Shake-Ups & Top Concerns Today," 29 Apr. 2019 They are viewed as the most restrictive among the 15 states with consecutive or lifetime legislative term limits. David Eggert, Detroit Free Press, "Former Michigan lawmakers sue to block legislative term limits," 20 Nov. 2019

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for lifetime

Time Traveler

The first known use of lifetime was in the 13th century

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Statistics for lifetime

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lifetime.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for lifetime


How to pronounce lifetime (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lifetime

: the time during which a person is alive
: a very long time
: the time during which something lasts or is useful


life·​time | \ ˈlīf-ˌtīm How to pronounce lifetime (audio) \

Kids Definition of lifetime

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