1 of 2


life·​time ˈlīf-ˌtīm How to pronounce lifetime (audio)
: 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)
: an amount accumulated or experienced in a lifetime
a lifetime of regrets


2 of 2


: of long duration or continuance
lifetime legislation
: measured or achieved over the span of a career
a baseball player's lifetime batting average

Example Sentences

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
The company has grown to 45 employees and more than $200 million in lifetime sales, Mendelsohn says. Diane Bellcolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Nov. 2022 The analysis examines the issue of the optimal age to claim Social Security in order to maximize retirees' lifetime discretionary income, or money after taxes, living expenses and other essential costs. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 29 Nov. 2022 Nimmo has on-base prowess (.380 lifetime OBP) and led the league in triples. John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle, 29 Nov. 2022 Despite a lifetime of rooting for abject (or near abject) teams—the New York Knicks, the Oakland A’s, the Buffalo Bills—there was always something cringey about rooting for the USMNT. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 29 Nov. 2022 Now 21, he was sentenced Monday to serve 40 years in federal prison — nearly double his lifetime. Lea Skene, Baltimore Sun, 29 Nov. 2022 Made in Vermont, these socks have a lifetime guarantee. Matt Jancer, WIRED, 28 Nov. 2022 The $100,000 prize is awarded annually to one living U.S. poet for their extraordinary lifetime achievements. Safire R. Sostre, Essence, 28 Nov. 2022 This lightweight stick vacuum from Whall offers incredible suction (25 kilopascals of power) at three speeds with brushless technology, meaning quieter cleaning and a longer lifetime. Lindsey Metrus, Peoplemag, 28 Nov. 2022
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.

Word History

First Known Use


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


1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near lifetime

Cite this Entry

“Lifetime.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition




More from Merriam-Webster on lifetime

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.