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life-and-death

[lahyf-uh n-deth]
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adjective
  1. ending with the death or possible death of one of the participants; crucially important: The cobra was engaged in a life-and-death struggle with the mongoose.

Origin of life-and-death

First recorded in 1680–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Idioms and Phrases with life and death

life and death

see matter of life and death.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.