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)

1 : lifelong
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

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for lifetime

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But five days in the NBA playoffs is a lifetime, and after two games and two losses at American Airlines Center, the Suns could use a lifeline. Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic, 8 May 2022 Quokkas' life expectancy is about 10 years, and female quokkas can produce 17 offspring over a lifetime, with two joeys born each year, according to the Australian Museum. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 8 May 2022 Riding in his first Kentucky Derby, Jockey Sonny Leon gave trainer Eric Reed a ride of a lifetime on the trainers first Derby horse. Jay Ginsbach, Forbes, 8 May 2022 But five days in the NBA playoffs is a lifetime, and after two games and two losses at American Airlines Center, the Suns could use a lifeline. Kent Somers, USA TODAY, 8 May 2022 Forren, a senior catcher, is a lifetime .465 hitter, spending her entire prep career on the varsity squad. Shelby Dermer, The Enquirer, 6 May 2022 The virus’s saturating spread may well continue for generations to come; reinfections and vaccinations throughout a person’s lifetime could become, for most of us, a new pathogenic norm. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 4 May 2022 The most optimistic scenario had CETI beginning just 25 pecent into a star’s lifetime. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 4 May 2022 Judge Hunchu Kwak, who was seated during Sergio Correa’s weeks-long trial late last year, sentenced 30-year-old Sergio Correa to a lifetime behind bars plus 105 years. Taylor Hartz, Hartford Courant, 3 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Getting an Emmy award is a lifetime dream for many. Stephan Rabimov, Forbes, 24 May 2021 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, 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, 20 Nov. 2019 See More

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.

Keep scrolling for more

First Known Use of lifetime


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


1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About lifetime

Time Traveler for lifetime

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near lifetime



life tree

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for lifetime

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lifetime.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for lifetime


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

Kids Definition of lifetime

More from Merriam-Webster on lifetime

Nglish: Translation of lifetime for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lifetime for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!