Lives - definition of lives by The Free Dictionary



n., pl. lives (līvz),
adj. n.

1. the general condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, a means of reproduction, and internal regulation in response to the environment.

2. the animate existence or period of animate existence of an individual: to risk one's life; a long life.

3. a corresponding state, existence, or principle of existence conceived of as belonging to the soul: eternal life.

4. the general or universal condition of human existence: Life is like that.

5. any specified period of animate existence: a couple in middle life.

6. the period of existence, activity, or effectiveness of something inanimate, as a machine, lease, or play.

7. a living being: Several lives were lost in the fire.

8. living things collectively: insect life.

9. a particular aspect of existence: an active sex life.

10. the course of existence or sum of experiences and actions that constitute a person's existence.

11. a biography: a life of Willa Cather.

12. animation; liveliness; spirit: The party was full of life.

13. resilience; elasticity.

14. the force that makes or keeps something alive; the vivifying or quickening principle.

15. a mode or manner of existence, as in the world of affairs or society.

17. anything or anyone considered to be as precious as life: She was his life.

18. a person or thing that enlivens: the life of the party.

19. effervescence or sparkle, as of wines.

20. pungency or strong, sharp flavor, as of substances when fresh or in good condition.

21. nature or any of the forms of nature as the model or subject of a work of art: drawn from life.


22. for or lasting a lifetime; lifelong: a life membership in a club; life imprisonment.

23. of or pertaining to animate existence: life functions.

24. working from nature or using a living model: a life drawing.

Idioms: 1. bring to life,

a. to restore to consciousness.

b. to make animated.

c. to imbue with lifelike characteristics.

2. come to life,

a. to recover consciousness.

b. to become animated.

c. to appear lifelike.

3. for dear life, with the most desperate effort possible.

4. for the life of one, even with the utmost effort.

5. get a life, to improve the quality of one's social and professional life: often used in the imperative to express impatience with someone's behavior.

6. not on your life, absolutely not.

7. take one's life in one's hands, to risk death knowingly.

8. to the life, in perfect imitation; exactly.

[before 900; Middle English


Old English


c. Old Frisian, Old Saxon, Old Norse


Old High German


life, body; akin to