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  Dictionary Definition of life

noun ( plural lives )

1. the condition which distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic objects and dead organisms. The distinguishing manifestations of life are: growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally.
2. ( collectively ) the distinguishing phenomena (esp. metabolism, growth, reproduction, and spontaneous adaptation to environment) of plants and animals, arising out of the energy relationships with protoplasm.
3. the animate existence, or the term of animate existence, of an individual: to risk one's life.
4. a corresponding state, existence, or principle of existence conceived as belonging to the soul: eternal life.
5. state or condition of existence as a human being: Life is not a bed of roses.
6. period of existence from birth to death: In later life she became more placid.
7. a. the term of existence, activity, or effectiveness of something inanimate, as a machine or a lease. b. Also, lifetime. Physics the average period between the appearance and disappearance of a particle.
8. a living being: Several lives were lost.
9. living things collectively, whether animals or plants: insect life.
10. course or mode of existence: married life.
11. a biography: a life of Menzies.
12. animation, liveliness: a speech full of life.
13. that which makes or keeps alive; the vivifying or quickening principle.
14. existence in the world of affairs, society, etc.
15. one who or that which enlivens: the life of the party.
16. effervescence or sparkle, as of wines.
17. pungency or strong, sharp flavour, as of substances when fresh or in good condition.
18. Cricket the quality in the pitch which causes the ball to rise abruptly or unevenly after leaving the ground.
19. the living form or model as the subject in art.
20. a. a prison sentence covering the rest of the convicted person's natural life. b. the maximum possible term of imprisonment that can be awarded by the laws of a state.
-- phrase
21. a matter of life and death ; life and death, a critical situation.
22. as large as life, Colloquial actually; in person.
23. come to life, a. to recover consciousness. b. to display liveliness or vigour. c. to appear lifelike; be convincing or realistic.
24. for dear life, urgently; desperately.