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

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, "The Economist Who Believes the Government Should Just Print More Money," 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., "Ellen DeGeneres Is Going On Tour For The First Time In 15 Years," 14 June 2018 That became my encore career and, now, my lifework. Anh Nguyet Tranh, The Christian Science Monitor, "One woman who’s easing the language barrier for immigrants," 8 Oct. 2017 Lifeworks provides support to 2,500 individuals with disabilities and their families throughout the Twin Cities and greater Mankato area. Pioneer Press, Twin Cities, "Business People: Sunday, Jan. 22," 21 Jan. 2017 Besides, such is the cover band’s lifework—all eyes on the next paying gig. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "A Springsteen Cover Band Is a Fitting Choice for Trump’s Inauguration," 13 Jan. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of lifework

1837, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near lifework

life vest






life zone

Statistics for lifework

Last Updated

3 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for lifework

The first known use of lifework was in 1837

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lifework

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


to make a temporary encampment

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