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[lahyf-uh n-deth] /ˈlaɪf ənˈdɛθ/
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.
Also, life-or-death.
Origin of life-and-death
First recorded in 1680-90 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for life-and-death
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In another minute they may expect to engage in a life-and-death conflict—for themselves too likely a death one.

    The Lone Ranche Captain Mayne Reid
  • In the achievement of any relationship we are involved in a life-and-death struggle.

    Herein is Love Reuel L. Howe
  • There shall no longer be a life-and-death struggle for food and shelter.

    War of the Classes Jack London
  • England was hard pressed in life-and-death struggle with Napoleon.

  • The stone barriers were passed; Romans and Britons were mingled in a life-and-death struggle.

  • This would seem to indicate a life-and-death matter in the message.

    The Covenant of Salt Henry Clay Trumbull

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