live·​li·​hood | \ ˈlīv-lē-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce livelihood (audio) \

Definition of livelihood

1 : means of support or subsistence (see subsistence sense 2) The villagers' main livelihood is fishing.
2 obsolete : the quality or state of being lively

Examples of livelihood in a Sentence

Many fishermen believe that the new regulations threaten their livelihoods.

Recent Examples on the Web

The Spauldings' youngest daughter and son-in-law, Christy and Jeremy Spexet, also rely on the farm for their livelihood. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Low prices, floods and trade wars plague American farmers, putting their survival at risk," 6 June 2019 But its recent spread in Asia is becoming a major economic problem for the region, where thousands of farmers raise pigs in their backyard and rely on them for their livelihood. Vox Staff, Vox, "“Pig Ebola” is spreading uncontrollably in China and Vietnam," 6 June 2019 But moving production to other locales would be costly and would penalize Georgia workers — many of them women — who depend on Hollywood for their livelihoods. Brooks Barnes, New York Times, "Hollywood Producer Seeks to Raise Funds to Battle Anti-Abortion Laws," 3 June 2019 Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have lost loved ones, livelihoods, and those too who are in urgent need. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth Sends Condolences and a Donation in the Wake of Cyclone Idai," 21 Mar. 2019 The prince then moved on to the Dar Na’mah Centre — a project of the Princess Taghrid Institute (PTI), which was set up to help women to develop their own livelihoods and support their families and communities. Simon Perry,, "Kate Middleton 'Is Very Sorry She Can't Be Here,' Prince William Says on Day 2 of Jordan Visit," 25 June 2018 Indeed, Invisibilia listeners will be left contemplating their own livelihoods, parental relationships and methods of mourning in the six episodes of Season 4. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "'Invisibilia' is back with a new season of abstract stories that make for powerful podcasts," 8 Mar. 2018 There are some artists on the fairs and festivals circuit who are in the AARP age range, but most exhibitors who rely on these shows for their livelihood tend to be in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Daniel Grant, WSJ, "He Sells His Paintings—From Fair to Fair," 25 Nov. 2018 Psychologist Tom Guarriello said that many people see smart machines as a threat to their livelihoods. Hiawatha Bray,, "Afraid of robots? The feeling is mutual," 20 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for livelihood

alteration of Middle English livelode course of life, from Old English līflād, from līf + lād course — more at lode

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Statistics for livelihood

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for livelihood

The first known use of livelihood was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of livelihood

: a way of earning money in order to live


live·​li·​hood | \ ˈlīv-lē-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce livelihood (audio) \

Kids Definition of livelihood

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