living will


Definition of living will

: a document in which the signer requests to be allowed to die rather than be kept alive by artificial means if disabled beyond a reasonable expectation of recovery — compare advance directive

Examples of living will in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Unmarried people should put a priority on developing the traditional estate planning documents that don’t pertain to disposition of property: the health care proxy (or advance medical directive or living will) and financial power of attorney. Bob Carlson, Forbes, 3 Sep. 2021 Marla’s confrontation with Jennifer — a dot that a smart woman who studies human beings for a living will probably be able to connect, given time, to the survival of her erstwhile non-fiancé. Devon Maloney, Vulture, 11 Oct. 2021 Those who enjoy urban living will have great options, and those who don’t want apartments in their backyard won’t have to worry. Matt Canham, The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Oct. 2021 This person can then help the team of doctors and others taking care of the patient in situations not specifically addressed by the living will. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 21 Sep. 2021 Too bad the side plots — Kramer’s living will, Jerry and the bad tennis instructor — aren’t as inspired. Larry Fitzmaurice, Vulture, 1 Sep. 2021 The other most important documents are your health care proxy and/or living will. Rodger Dean Duncan, Forbes, 15 June 2021 Ultimately, Huawei users will get the most out of the MateView, but anyone who writes for a living will adore the 3:2 aspect ratio over typical 16:9. Ben Sin, Forbes, 4 June 2021 For example, check into their Power of Attorney, health care proxy, living will, DNR (do not resuscitate notice), pooled trust, and more. Noel Cody, Essence, 25 June 2021

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

1969, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for living will

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The first known use of living will was in 1969

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Cite this Entry

“Living will.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for living will

living will


English Language Learners Definition of living will

: a document in which you say what medical decisions should be made if you become too sick or injured to make those decisions

living will


Medical Definition of living will

: a document in which the signer requests to be allowed to die rather than be kept alive by artificial means in the event of becoming disabled beyond a reasonable expectation of recovery — see advance directive

living will

liv·​ing will

Legal Definition of living will

: a document in which the signer indicates preferences or directions for the administration and especially the withdrawal or withholding of life-sustaining medical treatment in the event of terminal illness or permanent unconsciousness — see also advance directive — compare health care power of attorney at power of attorney


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