- a person sentenced to or serving a term of life imprisonment.
- a person committed to a professional lifetime career in the military.
- a person who has devoted a lifetime to a profession, occupation, or pursuit.
- (in birding)
- Also called life bird.a species of bird not seen previously and that will therefore be added to the bird watcher's life list.
- the sighting of a bird of a previously unseen species: It seems like forever since I've had a lifer!
Origin of lifer
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for lifer
The report reveals some disturbing trends in the current lifer prison population, Nellis says.
But that means a significant portion of the lifer population is behind bars for a non-homicide, Nellis points out.
They get more mail, by far, than a lifer or your average inmate coming home.Death-Row Pen Pals
November 20, 2009
Hunder'd'n One—lifer—plays off crazy—forty lashes every Monday.The Ape, the Idiot & Other People
W. C. Morrow
Up the beach we chased, and dragged out the boat we called our ‘Lifer.’The Motor Girls on Crystal Bay
The djinn was in for a lifer, and was immortal; so thought Challis to himself.It Never Can Happen Again
William De Morgan
A lifer, an' hasn't a friend in th' woild, but he's happy as th' day's long.Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist
If you stay here, you're a marked man; and when you are found tripping it'll be a lifer for you, at the least.My Friend The Murderer
A. Conan Doyle
- informal a prisoner sentenced to life imprisonment
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for lifer
"prisoner serving a life sentence," 1830, from life (n.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper