life·​work | \ ˈlīf-ˈwərk How to pronounce lifework (audio) \

Definition of lifework

: the entire or principal work of one's lifetime also : a work extending over a lifetime

Examples of lifework in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Getting African art accepted into Western art museums was a lifework for many of them. David Frum, The Atlantic, 14 Sep. 2022 His lifework has the enormous humanistic scope of living myths, and the political insight to challenge them with underlying realities each step of the way. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 23 July 2022 Among the many reasons to write a memoir, the realization that the government could decide to eradicate any evidence of your lifework or even of your life might be the most extreme. Joan Gaylord, The Christian Science Monitor, 20 Dec. 2021 The family speaks French at home, a piece of Louis’ lifework to carry Cajun culture into the future. Andy Horowitz, Rolling Stone, 16 Sep. 2021 Still, talking to someone whose lifework is conversation can be stressful. Corinne Purtill, The New Yorker, 23 Mar. 2021 Zuckerberg has had a front-row seat to the madness that comes from chasing likes and appears amenable to reducing their influence, which would be a rare acknowledgement that his lifework hasn’t been exclusively for the good. Noam Cohen, Wired, 6 Feb. 2020 Most helpful was Art Laffer, the architect of supply-side economics, whose lifework, arguing for reducing taxes on the rich, recently earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Donald Trump. Zach Helfand, The New Yorker, 20 Aug. 2019 Earlier this year, de Rossi surprised DeGeneres by gifting her with the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, which would honor and continue the lifework of one of her heroes, scientist Dian Fossey., 14 June 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lifework.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of lifework

1837, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of lifework was in 1837

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Last Updated

23 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lifework.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2022.

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