[lahyf-uh n-deth]


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.

Nearby words

  1. life stress,
  2. life support,
  3. life table,
  4. life vest,
  5. life zone,
  6. life-boat,
  7. life-care,
  8. life-giving,
  9. life-or-death,
  10. life-saver

Origin of life-and-death

First recorded in 1680–90 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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.